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Friday, March 3, 2023
6:30 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, March 4, 2023
11:00 - 11:45am (Eastern time)
Bobby Ray Batts, 88, of Elm City, passed away at home surrounded by his family early March 1, 2023.
Funeral, Saturday, 11:00 AM, Wilson Memorial Service, Wilson. Interment, Evergreen Memorial Park. The family will be at Wilson Memorial Service, Friday, 6:30 – 8:00 PM.
He was born in Wilson County on May 8, 1934 to Minnie Walston Batts and Guy Tyson Batts. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother W.T. Batts, sister Peggy Peacock and nephew Mark Batts.
His is survived by his wife of 62 years, Anne; son, Jeff Batts and wife, Claire, of High Point; daughter, Lori Barnes and husband Michael, of Wilson; grandchildren, Toby Barnes of Wilson, Caroline Batts of High Point and Tyson Batts of Raleigh; sisters, Joyce Munford, Patsy Proctor and Linda Deters and husband, Bud; brother, Marvin Batts and wife Lynn, brothers and sisters-in-law Brenda and Earl Anderson, Paula and Wayne Owens, Jan and Tim Owens as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins; his devoted caregiver Maxine Neal and beloved cat Lady Bug.
Bobby Ray was a strong, hardworking man with a sweet gentle soul. He was quiet and soft spoken but when he spoke his words were worth listening to. His early life was humble like other sharecroppers in that era. Despite this, his siblings shared a joyful childhood working and playing together on the farm. They remained devoted to one another throughout their lives. They enjoyed family gatherings and celebrating good times and being there for each other in hard times. He especially loved Christmas and delighted sharing this joy with his family; especially his children and grandchildren.
After graduating from high school, he continued working on the family farm outside of Elm City, near Dunn’s Crossroads with his daddy and brothers until he was drafted into the army. He served honorably as an MP at Sandia Base, the nations principle nuclear weapons installation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He rarely spoke of his service but often remarked of the beautiful sunsets that were common in the area, indicative of his appreciation of the beauty found in nature.
After leaving the Army, he returned to the family farm. He married Anne Owens in March of 1961. He and Anne enjoyed family trips to the mountains of NC and Williamsburg, VA. During the farming off-season, they also enjoyed traveling together, just the two of them, to several destinations throughout the country. They loved historical sites, naturally beautiful places as well as shopping for antiques. He loved learning and reading about the history of his country.
He also enjoyed annual trips with the Wilson County Young Farmer’s Association with his nephew Mark, although he would be the first to jokingly tell you, “he was not a young farmer.” He was a long-time member of the Wilson County Farm Bureau and served as a respected board member.
He will be remembered as a respected member of the Wilson County farming community, loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend.
Flowers are welcome or memorials can be made to The Wilson County Young Farmer’s Association, 1806 Goldsboro St. SW, Wilson, NC 27896 or the UNC TEACCH Autism Program, c/o UNC Medicine, PO Box 1050, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-1050.
Arrangements by Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Dr. N, Wilson NC, 252-237-7171; www.wilsonmemorialservice.com