Christopher “Chris” Batenhorst, 97 years old, passed away peacefully at St. Joseph Hillside Villa in West Point, NE on April 23, 2021 with his family by his side. In 1950, he was united in marriage with Dorothy Clausen at St Mary’s Catholic Church and was a devoted husband throughout their 70 -year marriage. Chris was a devout member of the St Mary’ Catholic Church and was a 3rd degree life member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #2272.
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He attended Guardian Angels School and graduated from Guardian Angels High School in 1943. Later from 1946 through 1948, Chris was the assistant basketball coach at Guardian Angels.
In July of 1943 he joined the United States Army during World War II serving in the 538th Quartermaster Company. He was stationed in New Caledonia and the Philippines where he was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Meritorious Service Unit Plaque. During his time with the military, he was an excellent basketball and baseball player. Chris’s baseball talent resulted in an invitation to try-out with the Chicago White Sox, however he chose to return to family and West Point. Chris was honorably discharged in February of 1946. Until his death he continued to be active in American Legion Post #70 and VFW Post#4912. Chris participated in the Honor Flight to Washington, DC in May 2008.
Chris worked several jobs before settling into the position of Superintendent of Street Department for the City of West Point. Chris retired from the City of West Point in 1986.
Chris had a broad sense of humor and new instinctively when to inject playful teasing or joking into interactions with everyone – whether family, friends, or strangers. He particularly relished repeatedly referring to each of his grandchildren, regardless of gender or actual name, as “George”, then watching and ignoring their protests with an amused twinkle in his eyes.
He was a lifelong master gardener who generously shared his produce and fruit with friends and neighbors. Chris loved playing cards and shooting pool with family and friends. He remained an avid sports fan throughout his life. His grandchildren fondly recall spending afternoons with him watching the Chicago Cubs and various University of Nebraska sports.
Chris is survived by his wife, Dorothy of West Point, NE; children: Michael (Nancy) Batenhorst of Sidney, IA; Daniel (Reiko) Batenhorst of Okinawa, Japan; Randal (Alice) Batenhorst of Raleigh, NC; Mary Batenhorst of Maricopa, AZ, and special friend JoAnn Dankert, Daughter-in-law Chong (Terry) of Roseville, CA. Sisters: Evelyn (Clark) Collins of West Point, NE and Margaret (Larry) Arter of Norfolk, NE; 9 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.;
Chris was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Elizabeth Batenhorst; son, Terry Batenhorst; brothers: Edward and Bruno Batenhorst; sisters: Gert Wiegert, Mary Anne Tomrdle and Wilma Lane; and granddaughter Naomi Batenhorst.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that you donate to a charity of your choice. You may also plant a memorial tree in his honor through the Heartfelt Sympathies Store. Funeral services will be held at a later date.
A special thank you to the St. Joseph Hillside Villa and Franciscan Healthcare Hospice staff for their care and support during Chris’s illness. He is gone but never forgotten.