Born: August 03, 1926
Died: July 05, 2012
John Wesley Batdorf, Jr. M.D. passed away on Thursday, July 5, 2012, at his home in Redding, CA. He was born on August 3, 1926, the first of five children born to the Reverend John W. Batdorf Sr. and Dora L. (Gerig) Batdorf in Dallas, Texas. He is survived by his wife of 64 years Harriet V. (Bohling) Batdorf; his children: Janelle E. Ayers and husband Eric, Daniel K. Batdorf and wife Gail; Dr. Kristin J. Batdorf and husband Jose Rodriguez; and grandchildren: Megan Ayers, Jeremiah Batdorf, Kate Batdorf, Jacob Batdorf, and August Rodriguez. He is also survived by his brother Dr. Joseph T. Batdorf and wife Carol; his sister Elizabeth Royster and husband Dr. James Royster and sisters-in-law Beverly Batdorf; Helen Sumpter, Jeanette Derry, and Pearl Bohling; several cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother David B. Batdorf and sister Mary Blevins.
A service celebrating his life will be held at a later date in Anderson, Indiana.
Dr. Batdorf graduated from Kalamazoo High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1944. Later that summer he enlisted in the Navy where he was a pharmacist's mate third class. He received an honorable discharge in July 1946. That fall he began studies in pre-med at Anderson College in Anderson, Indiana. He met his future wife at a church camp in 1946. They were married on January 28, 1948 in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Batdorf studied at the University of Michigan for one year before entering Medical School at Wayne State University. Following graduation from medical school and an internship at Hurley Hospital in Flint, MI he was in general practice in Goodrich, MI for three years, making many house-calls and delivering many babies. He started a four year residency in general and trauma surgery at Hurley Hospital in 1957.
He opened a surgical practice in Flint in 1961. In 1963, Dr. Batdorf moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he joined a surgical and trauma practice. He was a co-founder of the Trauma Symposium at Caesar's Palace in 1965, and continued as the director for many years. In 1967 he began developing a statewide plan for rural emergency services in Nevada. For several years, he traveled extensively throughout rural areas of Nevada teaching emergency caregivers and was an originator of PRIN: Professional Rescue Instructors of Nevada. In 1974 he received the Governor's Award for Comprehensive Statewide Emergency Services. He also received a Certificate for Humanitarian Service from the American Medical Association's Volunteer Physician to Viet Nam program in 1966 for three months of volunteer service.
Dr. Batdorf was chief of surgery and on the Board of Trustees of Southern Nevada Memorial Hospital from 1968 to 1972, and had multiple appointments at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas. He was a developer and chief of the Lion's Burn Center at UMC for many years. He helped develop and obtain certification for the surgical residency program at the University Medical School and was professor of surgery at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas from 1981. In 1987 he retired from private practice and was employed by the University Medical Center Trauma Clinics and Quick Care Facilities until 1995. In May of that year he was named Professor of Surgery Emeritus of the University of Nevada in Reno.
Dr. Batdorf was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a governor of the College 1980 to 1985, and a member of its Committee on Trauma. He was a founding member of the American Trauma Society and a member of several other surgical and trauma associations including the American Burn Association. He was a speaker at numerous trauma and surgical conventions and published numerous articles in medical journals. He received many awards and citations for his dedication to surgery.
In his free time, he enjoyed fishing on Lake Mead and walking quietly in the woods near his cabins in northern Michigan. He loved sharing "the lake" with family and friends. Many of his nieces and nephews have fond memories of summers at Big Long Lake. He enjoyed inviting friends and students to barbeques at the Roc-N-Doc Ranch in Pahrump, NV. In retirement he enjoyed keeping up with relatives, sharing philosophical conundrums with friends and jokes with acquaintances over the internet. He loved reading scientific journals, marveling about new discoveries in the universe, subatomic particles and the "string theory" which he was happy to explain to anyone who had the time and interest to listen.
Because of his declining health, Dr. Batdorf and his wife moved to Redding, CA in 2009 to be close to two of their children. He continued to enjoy listening to music, listening to books on tape, watching the public television channel and learning about the world. He liked to go out to eat and he enjoyed a new restaurant with his wife and daughter less than one week before his death. He looked forward to long talks on the telephone with relatives and friends. Although he did not say much, he liked to hear what each one was doing. When able, he enjoyed going to church and appreciated visits from the minister and volunteers. He liked taking "walks" in the neighborhood and in the many beautiful parks in Redding, using a motorized chair that he liked to operate himself. We will miss him.
Dad-we love you!
Arrangements handled through Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Palo Cedro (547-4444).