Gary Duane Batten

March 03, 1939 ‒ June 18, 2020

Delaware, Ohio

Gary D. Batten of Delaware, Ohio died on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at the age of 81. After years of battling dementia, he died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife, Mary Jane, and children, Cheryl, Jana, Lori, and Steve.  His life was well lived, and he was well-loved.

Gary was born on March 3, 1939, in Greenville, Ohio, to Harold and Hazel (Long) Batten.

Gary met the love of his life and best friend, Mary Jane Johnston, in high school. They graduated from Greenville Senior High School in 1957 and tied the knot on November 8, 1958. They remained inseparable for over 61 years.

He worked hard to provide for his family by taking on whatever job was available. He retired from the Ohio Department of Transportation in 1999.

Family was the center of Gary’s life and he was proud to be the patriarch. He was an important presence in the lives of his children and grandchildren. Gary and Mary Jane raised three daughters, Cheryl (Greg) Smith, Jana (Octavio) Maldonado and Lori Wheeler, and one son, Steve (Shelly) Batten.

Gary doted on his grandchildren, Kirstyn (Justin) Shumaker and Logan Smith; Brandon and Evan Maldonado; Tyler, Grant, and Grace Batten; and Joseph and Noah Wheeler. His big bear hugs, silly faces, Donald Duck impressions, and his willingness to push a swing for hours, or to play Dance Dance Revolution endeared him to them greatly. Gary enjoyed watching his grandchildren dance, act, sing, bat, kick, stop a puck, beat a drum, throw a football, wrestle, skate, and hit major milestones in their lives. He was blessed to welcome a new generation in his great-grandkids, Hayes and Lane Shumaker, who were also recipients of big hugs and kisses.

Gary loved to watch sports on TV and was especially a devoted fan of The Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Reds. In his spare time, he enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, playing softball, singing and performing in church. He was a strong leader of his family, and a good friend to all, who would give his shirt to anyone in need. He had a long-standing relationship with God and held onto his faith to his dying breath.

Gary was preceded in death by his father and his mother. He is survived by his wife, his four children, his nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, his sister, Sharon (Lloyd) Edger, his brother, Jim (Norita) Batten, and many in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

Gary will be forever remembered for his beautiful smile, gentle eyes, caring heart, loving embrace, and unconditional love. He has left a permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be greatly missed. Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in Heaven watching over us.

A Celebration of Life and Faith will be held on Thursday, July 9th, 2020, at the East Dayton Christian Church, 3415 Linden Avenue, Dayton, Ohio. Visitation with the family will begin at 2:00 pm and the service will begin at 2:30 pm. To celebrate Gary, the family would appreciate if guests would wear Buckeye themed apparel or his favorite colors, green and blue. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Capital City Hospice

The family would like to thank all the health care professionals from Capital City Hospice for their great care in the last few weeks of his life. We are sincerely grateful to the wonderful staff who comforted and cared for him in his last days.

To share a fond memory or to leave a message of condolence please visit

The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center in Delaware is assisting the Batten family with arrangements .

  • Steve, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. You, your sisters and families have my deepest sympathy. Always enjoyed being around your folks at ballgames. Such sweet people!!!

  • I am so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. He was an awesome father and husband, and a steadfast rock in your family’s lives. Please know we send our deepest sympathies and condolences to you all, along with lots of love and virtual hugs across the miles. <3 <3 <3

    Lana (Lease) Johnston

  • We were so sorry to hear about the passing of Gary. We remember him in the church as a kind, warm, person who was always there to help anyone who needed it. A lovely man who will be missed by all who knew him. We are keeping the family in our prayers.

    Victoria & Kaitlyn Adams

  • I am so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I worked with him at ODOT and was very fond of him. He will be missed.

  • Mary Jane and Cheryl, and family,
    Please know I am sending prayers for your loss. My mom Sondra Delk Ruhl went to school with Gary and Mary Jane and I went to school with Cheryl. I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen one another. My mom passed away July 2019.
    May you feel the Lord’s arms wrapped around you at this time.
    Jodi Ruhl Brown

  • My heart is so sadden to hear of Gary’s passing. He was a beautiful steadfast soul. A joy to work with and have as a Co worker for over 10 years. My thoughts and prayers for all of you.

  • I was very sorry to learn of your dad’s passing. In reading the obituary it is obvious that he had a tremendous love for his family and a strong faith. My condolences to the entire family.

  • Sorry to hear of Gary’s death. I will not be able to attend the funeral, but our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. With God’s help and your faith, you will be made strong. God bless.

  • Wishing you peace and strength as you navigate through the emotions of your dad’s passing. Hold on tight your memories of him for comfort. With caring thoughts please accept our condolences .

  • Mary and Family, we are very sorry to hear of Gary”s passing. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Our Grand- Son is getting married that night. Take care Mary, just remember all the good times.

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