WILLIAM RANDLE "BILL" BATLEY JR.
Mar. 12, 1926 - Aug. 17, 2010
William Randle "Bill" Batley, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, August 17, 2010 while at his residence in Encinitas, California. He was born in Brawley, California, on March 12, 1926 to William Randle Batley and Katharine Leonard McQueen Batley, from Hearne, Texas.
Viewing will take place on Friday, August 20, 2010 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Frye Mortuary in Brawley, California. Private family burial will be Saturday, August 21, 2010 at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley.
A husband, a father, a dear friend, an incredible individual, a rancher, a farmer, an entrepreneur, a pilot, a grandfather, a Mason, has passed away. He was a mover and shaker, who will be long remembered for his enthusiasm and zeal.
He lived an exceptional life, believed in the power of a good education, and the value of an honest days work. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and beautiful sunsets. His coarse ways were easily overshadowed by his enthusiasm, his honesty, his compassion and his love for his 16 daughters and family members. Bill grew up in the home his father Bill built in 1932 at 270 West I Street, Brawley. He attended Myron D. Witter School, Barbara Worth Jr. High School and Brawley Union High School. He graduated in 1944 and immediately went into the U.S. Air Force, for pilot training. He later served as a pilot in World War II.
Bill became a partner in Batley Farms when he returned from the U.S. Air Force and University of California College of Agriculture at Davis, California in 1950.
Bill married Felicitas Munoz Alvarez, July 4th 1958. He found true love in his marriage with Lisa, a lady with a great deal of common sense who was strong enough to keep him happy and going in the right direction. Bill and Lisa established their home on the Batley Enterprises Ranch house in Brawley, California.
From early in their marriage Bill and Lisa increased the size of their family by opening the doors of their home to sixteen young women from foreign countries who lived with them. They encouraged each of them to pursue higher education.
Each girl brought to Bill and Lisa's marriage a unique love of their own and each introduced them to their own culture and personality. This was a world class learning experience for the Batley Family and the girls as well.
The happiness that he found in his home life inspired him to take on several innovative ventures. The very successful leaf protein process which he added to the BJE Dehydrating Plant was one of them. He had also put together a team to build a hydrofoil boat which became the first U.S. built hydrofoil boat to receive United States Coast Guard approval to carry passengers for hire. This boat was used in the New York Worlds Fair in 1964.
Bill pioneered the idea of getting the sugarcane to ethanol industry started in the Imperial Valley. He was a forward thinker and saw the need for renewable energy growing each year.
For years he worked with his daughter Nora to bring financing to the project starting with Imperial Valley Fuels, LLC and most recently with California Ethanol & Power, LLC.
Bill Batley Jr. is survived by his wife, 16 girls, grandkids, friends, and extended family.
May he rest in peace.