H. Andrew “Andy” Batty Sr., 92, of Seneca Falls, passed away Wednesday, (Aug. 2, 2017). He was born April 11, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of the late Reginald Cuthbert and Irma Elizabeth (Seekell) Batty. He was the husband of the late Elizabeth “Betty” (Caple) Batty, who passed away March 1, 2013.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, (Sept. 9) at The First Presbyterian Church, 23 Cayuga St., Seneca Falls followed by a celebration and lunch at 84 Fall restaurant in Seneca Falls. Interment will take place at the family plot in Springbook Cemetery, Seneca Falls. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Andy’s memory may be made to The First Presbyterian Church, the Seneca Falls Community Band, Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry or the Seneca Falls Historical Society.
By the time the family moved from Utica to the family farm on Gravel Road in Seneca Falls in 1938, Andy had attended nine different schools. He graduated from Mynderse Academy, where he met Betty, in 1943. Andy and Betty were married at The First Presbyterian Church in Seneca Falls on Nov. 16, 1946, which was also Betty’s 19th birthday. They renewed their vows on their 50th anniversary and celebrated their 60th anniversary with a party at the Aurora Inn on Cayuga Lake hosted by their children. Together, with his father-in-law, Wilfred H. Caple, Andy farmed more than a thousand acres. A portion of the farm was taken by eminent domain for the New York State Thruway, which ran right through one of their properties. Over the course of his long farming career, Andy grew a variety of produce and raised beef cattle, hogs, and chickens. He raised Guernsey cattle as milk cows due to the high butterfat content of their milk and also owned the first milk pasteurizing operation in Seneca County. After being in the family for 150 years, the farm was sold in 1995. The history of the farm was celebrated during a coffee hour presentation at First Presbyterian Church in 2015. Around this time, Andy and his identical twin brother also gave a talk on farming in the 1940s and ’50s at the Seneca Falls Historical Society.
Andy was an independent salesman and distributor for Central Petroleum Company (Cen-Pe-Co) of Ohio for more than 60 years, providing specialty oils, lubricants and paints for generations of loyal agricultural customers and school districts and working right up until his passing. He earned numerous awards, consistently placed within the company’s top tier of salesmen, and was a member of their elite Million Dollar Sales Club. Andy attended his final sales convention in March of this year, where he received a special award recognizing his lifetime of achievements and a standing ovation. He represented Cen-Pe-Co at the Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls for decades. Andy tried to enlist for service in World War II after he graduated high school but was drafted on the farm instead. During the war, he ran the family farm with his twin brother and raised crops that were requested by the War Department. On his 90th birthday, Andy and his twin were recognized for their wartime agricultural service with a legislative proclamation by former state senator Mike Nozzolio.
Andy served as a Justice of the Peace for more than 20 years and was an active member of the Seneca County Magistrates’ Association, of which he was also a past president. He was a member of the Seneca Falls Historical Society and the Elks Lodge BPOE #992 and a former member of the Seneca Falls school board. He was a past Commodore of the Red Jacket Yacht Club on Cayuga Lake, where he was also an active member for 70 years. An accomplished and competitive sailor, Andy raced Lightning class sailboats throughout the Northeast. He participated in countless regattas, winning or placing in the top three in more than a hundred competitions. He sailed on all the Great Lakes, most of the Finger Lakes, the St. Lawrence, and the Atlantic Ocean.
In the 1940s, Andy helped to found a monthly men’s bridge club and continued to participate until his death, coming in second in the weeks before his passing. He was also an active euchre player. He and Betty passed along their love of card games to their children and grandchildren.
Andy served as an elder for The First Presbyterian Church, first as a young family man and then again during the last few years of his life. Generations of family members have worshiped with and served this congregation. He rarely missed a Sunday service, a coffee hour, or a sessions meeting, and he enjoyed his church family very much. In their younger years, Andy and Betty were members of the church’s young couples group known as the Barnstormers.
Andy rarely missed the Seneca Falls Community Band’s summer concerts in People’s Park, attending since the band first instituted these events. He and Betty were avid supporters and participants in the annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” festivals from the very beginning. They were also accomplished dancers and charter members of the Social Ballroom Dance Club of the Finger Lakes. Four generations of Battys have had their hair cut at Sammy’s Barber Shop in Seneca Falls, a tradition the family expects to continue.
Andy always enjoyed a good football game, whether it was college or professional, and was especially impressed to see the Patriots come from behind to win Super Bowl LI. He was an eternal optimist, always hoping the Jets, Giants, or Bills would win a Super Bowl, but he was still happy when the Patriots won. In his final months, he was rarely seen without his Patriots suspenders, which drew many comments from his fellow New Yorkers.
Andy was a strong man, mentally and physically. Sadly, like many members of his generation, he was a smoker. He smoked for 35 years, having quit when he was 56 years old. Though he was smoke-free for 36 years, that habit, combined with farmer’s lung, contributed to his advanced COPD, which led to his death.
The family kept close to their father and grandfather, enabling Andy to remain in his home and continue with his favorite activities until his very last day. They would like to thank the caregivers, nurses, and Pastor Leah, who provided assistance and comfort in his last months.
In addition to his wife and his parents, a son, Geoffry C. Batty; a sister, Clara Anne; and a nephew, Steven Batty, predeceased Andy.
He is survived by a son, H. Andrew Batty Jr. and his wife, Kathy, of Binghamton; a daughter, Susan (Batty) Santoski and her husband, Mike, of Brookline, N.H.; and his grandchildren H. Andrew “Drew” Batty III and his fiancé, Alyssa, and Tim Batty and his wife, Katie; Teresa Santoski, Mark Santoski and his wife, Maggie, Christian Santoski and Grace Santoski; Elizabeth Churchill and her husband, Jeffery, Reginald Batty and his wife, Chrystie, Andrea Bell and her husband, Shaun, KatiMae Batty, Gina and Mallory. He is also survived by his identical twin brother, Reginald Albert Batty and Reginald’s companion, Jean Cosentino; six great-grandchildren; a niece, Kim; two nephews, David and Gary; and other close family members and friends.