The Curry Coastal Pilot

Nettie May "Bea" Darrah Batten

July 3, 1937-July 10, 2013

Former Brookings resident Bea Batten was called to meet Jesus while sleeping peacefully in the small hours of July 10, 2013, at her home in Prineville.

Born Nettie May Darrah to Dewey Edwin and Claudia Ann Darrah, she soon became "Bea" thanks to her brother Jim. He wanted to hold the "Bea Bea" (baby). She kept the name but shortened it to Bea.

Bea loved her family and worked hard her entire adult life to provide for them in one form or another. For a number of years she was a server in various restaurants including the old Tubby's in Brookings which is now the Flying Gull. When not working out of the house she still took in ironing and sewing to help with the family expenses.

In the very early 1980s she found her true calling as a caregiver.

Almost a pioneer in this field, she began as a job coach at the Opportunity Center in Albany, where she helped Developmentally Delayed/Disabled adults find their skills to become productive workers. She was given the challenge of taking a crew to Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc., in Albany, and integrating them into a real life job with all the pains and rewards that all employees are given. The program was a complete success and highly regarded. She decided to open her home to foster care for individuals coming out of Fairview Training Center and her clients not only began learning new skills but also flourished.

After several years, Bea returned to Brookings with her clients to be near her daughters and sister. She opened Batten's Foster Care and provided for seniors, emotionally disabled individuals and even respite care for other caregivers who needed a break or vacation.

She was actively involved with the Special Olympics as a coach and volunteer for a number of years, and even taught a Sunday School class for any clients in the Brookings community who wished to attend.

Bea loved to travel. Not only had she traveled throughout the western United States, she later became a world traveler. Her first trip abroad was to Eastern Europe with inlaws Jerry and Bertha Miller of Cave Junction and Vangie Andreason of Brookings. A few years later she was off to visit China with her daughter Karen.

Bea made her final journey on this earth when she went to Portland, and then Lebanon - where her career in foster care began more than 30 years ago - to visit her beloved brother and sisters and more of her children and to celebrate her birthday on July 3, and her sister's birthday on July 4, before returning to her new home in Prineville.

Fly with the angels now caregiver, where you shall be cared for in heaven ... though sorely missed on earth.

Survivors include: William James Darrah (brother); Dolly Ann White (sister) and Donna Lorraine Crabtree (sister); David Ray Monaghan (son) and his wife Ning; Sharron Kay Merwin (daughter) and her husband Ron; Andrea Dee Enos, Rebecca Rose Miller (daughter) and her husband Darrel; Karen Andreason (daughter); Randal Dean Batten (son) and Andrew Dale Batten (son); daughter Krista Lee Holler (daughter) and her husband Chris; Eva Christman and Raymond Deibele, her loving and much-loved clients who began the journey with her and remain part of the family. Also surviving 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life is scheduled for noon today, (July 20), at Church of the Nazarene, 1600 Chetco Ave., Brookings.

In lieu of flowers the family requests remembrances be made in Bea's name to Southern Oregon Special Olympics, 33 N. Central Avenue, Suite 411, Medford OR 97501.

Submitted by the family.