Eugene (Gene) Wesley Batterson passed on Friday, September 7, 2018, in Estacada, Oregon at the age of 82. He bravely confronted and fought prostate cancer for nine years and colon cancer for one year.
Gene was born to Wesley and Wanda Batterson on February 12, 1936 in Nehalem, Oregon, and he resided in Eagle Creek, Oregon for the past 51 years. Gene went to work in the woods at an early age for small logging companies in California and Oregon, and during the 1960s and 70s he started crafting his skills as a timber faller near Estacada. In 1980 he put those skills to work for himself by starting his own business: Gene Batterson Logging, falling trees for private land owners. He later added a cat to build roads and a dump truck to haul rock so that he could remain working when log demands dropped and/or weather impeded timber falling. He was self-employed for over 35 years.
Gene enjoyed carpentry; he built four houses and lived in two of them. His passion was restoring vintage cars and trucks from Mustangs to Model A’s, and what he appreciated most was meeting the people at swap meets to collect old parts. He enjoyed collecting coins and all sorts of antiques. He loved being on the go; visiting family and friends, hiking, road trips to see lighthouses and covered bridges, driving across the western states to view national parks, trips to the Eastern Seaboard, and traveling to Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska.
He is survived by his son Craig Batterson of St. Helens, granddaughters Kayla Strang of Scappoose and Erica LaBonte of St. Helens, seven great-grandchildren: Madeline, Aubrey, Emelia, Naomi, Roman, Dominic, Meredith, sister Fay Reid of Nehalem, niece Debbie and nephews Wil and Robert. Gene lost his brother Leroy to leukemia at age 22.
Gene never met a stranger; he once spoke to a man that dialed a wrong number for two hours. He touched the lives of many people with his smile, great storytelling, and generosity. His heart led him to feed every stray cat. He maintained his trademark sense of humor to the end.
Friends and family are invited to attend a graveside service at the Nehalem American Legion Cemetery at 1 p.m. Friday, September 14, 2018. A celebration of life will be held in Estacada at a later date.