James "Jim" Millard Batson | PostIndependent.com

James "Jim" Millard Batson

James "Jim" Millard Batson

James “Jim” Millard Batson of Rifle, passed from this Earth on November 10, 2011, from a long, hard fought battle with emphysema. He was surrounded by the love of his family. He was 68 years old.

Born August 30, 1943, in Sheridan, Wyoming, to Ernest Louis and Cora M. Batson, he was the oldest of 3 children. Jim grew up in Wyoming, residing in Osage, Sheridan and New Castle and attended schools there.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force and served his country proudly in Vietnam.

After his military service, Jim worked as a rig hand, which brought him to Rifle, where he met the love of his life, Renelda. After they married, the two moved to California, where Jim went to machinist school and worked building aircraft landing gear.

Upon return to Rifle, Jim worked for Occidental Oil in DeBeque and Piceance Creek as a heavy equipment and diesel mechanic, and later opened Jim’s Auto Repair and Service Center in Rifle. Jim was a hardworking, simple man who was blessed with a family of four children, and numerous grandchildren who each have a special nickname from their Grandpa.

Jim loved hunting, fishing and being in the mountains. He was an avid Broncos fan, even when they lost. Jim’s greatest joy was his family, and he loved sharing in anything his grandchildren were involved in.

Jim is survived by his wife of 47 years, Renelda (Nellie), daughters Debbie (Joe) Zemlock of Rifle and their children Christian Batson, Amelia and Joey; and Donna (Don) Lewis of Battlement Mesa and children Tyler and Mikey. Sons Jim (Sheli) and children Ryan Heaston and Kalab; and Jerry Batson, children Kylee and Harley as well as Heidi Jowell and her three children all of Craig. He is also survived by a sister, Lillie Bishop of Kennewick, WA.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Uncle Sterling (Doc) Good and sister Lola Wible.

A celebration of Jim’s life with full military honors will be held in late May in Rifle. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the James Batson Memorial Fund at any Alpine Bank.

Grant Funeral Home of Craig, CO is in charge of arrangements.

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