J. Frank ‘Sonny’ Batton


Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Former Kenai Peninsula resident J. Frank “Sonny” Batton died of throat cancer Friday, April 27, 2007, at his home in Douglas, Wyo., surrounded by loved ones. He was 76.

A celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Douglas with the Rev. Carol A. Prochaska officiating.

Mr. Batton was born October 16, 1930, in Douglas, the son of J. Frank Batton Sr. and Jessie McCartney Batton. He spent his youth with his sisters Elva Wilson and Mona Dunham growing up in Douglas. He graduated from Douglas High School in 1949 and started his career in the oil and gas industry. In 1951 Mr. Batton married the first love of his life, Helen J. Yardley, and together they raised three sons, Bruce, Brent and Bill. Mr. Batton enlisted with the Wyoming National Guard in Douglas and eventually retired as a captain in the Alaska National Guard. Throughout his working career he and Helen lived in many places, starting first in Glenrock, Wyo., and eventually retiring from Amoco International Operations in Aberdeen, Scotland.

He spent many years in Alaska working in Cook Inlet and three years working on the Red Sea in Egypt. The Battons retired back to Douglas in 1989. Mr. Batton was an enthusiastic golfer and a dedicated yard man. A few years after Helen’s death Mr. Batton met a new love, Sharon Willford, and they shared many wonderful days traveling and golfing. He enjoyed spending time with his coffee buddies, his friends and especially his family.

“He will be deeply missed, but his lessons and examples will not be forgotten,” his family wrote.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Helen; sister, Mona; and son, Brent.

Mr. Batton is survived by his sons, Bruce and Bill; daughter-in-law, Liz; sister, Elva; and grandchildren, Spring Larrow, Matthew Batton and Karli Batton.

A memorial to the donor’s favorite charity would be appreciated by the family.

Arrangements were made by Gorman Funeral Homes, Converse Chapel in Douglas.

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