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Gertrude L. Batts

Obituary for Gertrude L. Batts

April 29, 2020
Rockland, Massachusetts

Obituary

Gertrude Louise (Hughes) Batts, 82, a lifelong resident of Rockland, died of natural causes on April 29, 2020 following a sudden decline in health. She was affectionately known as Gert, and later in life, proudly known as Gram. She held many meaningfully funny nicknames, all carried with pride, which was one of the many ways she shared her incredible sense of humor and her infinite capacity to love others. She was sharp, witty, sweet, and selfless to the very end, and so deeply loved by many. Words could never truly capture the deeply good and beautiful woman we were blessed to have in this life; she was everyone's angel on earth, and now an angel forever.

Born in Boston, MA, she was raised and educated in Hingham with her older brother and sister. She graduated from Hingham High School in 1955, where she excelled in field hockey, always holding onto fond memories of playing with her championship team. In the years following, she married her husband, Paul Batts, and had one daughter, Loreen (Batts) Walker; they settled in Rockland in 1967. Active in her community and humbly accomplished in her career, Gert was the Assistant to the Director of the Rockland Memorial Library for over 30 years, retiring in 2003. Being a librarian, she was an avid reader and loved biographies; when she became a grandmother, she was forever reading stories to her grandchildren, even when they got too big to fit in her lap for story time.

Gertrude exemplified the concept of living life to the fullest through every stage of her life. She loved traveling and adventuring, with many trips to New Orleans for Mardi Gras celebrations close to her heart. She spent much of her life on the beach; from childhood summers playing in tide pools with her big brother in Hingham, fond trips to Duxbury and Manomet with friends and family, to so many beautiful summer days spent with her daughter and grandchildren on Nantasket Beach. Even during her final years, she spent countless hours by the ocean with her granddaughter Jen, watching the surf at Nantasket or the sunset over Boston from Hull over laughter-filled conversation.

Gert always knew where to go for the most decadent foods, the most beautiful sights, and the most fun to be had wherever life took her. She possessed a lively, loving personality, a "larger-than-life" presence, and was funnier than your favorite comedian. These qualities so uniquely coexisted with her profoundly kind and gentle heart, her ability to show endless love to anyone who crossed her path, and a selflessness that could not be matched. Whether at Mardi Gras or just laughing in the car, Gert was always the life of the party; it may be better said that she herself was the party. She was a source of endless laughter, happiness, and joy to all.

She is survived by her granddaughter, Jennie D. Walker, of Coventry, CT, with whom she shared an unbreakably special bond, and was lovingly by her side during Gert's last day. Additionally, she is survived by her beloved big sister Muriel Hughes of Carlsbad, CA; nieces Deborah Kavounas of Carlsbad, CA, Michelle Lentz of San Diego, CA, and Nancy Mitchell of San Diego, CA; nephews Bernie Hughes of Wareham, MA and Eddie Hughes of Wareham, MA; and her lifelong best friend, Paula Zervas of Milton, MA. Gert leaves behind many other beloved friends, extended family, and those who knew her lovingly as their own Gram. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Loreen (Batts) Walker, her husband Paul Batts, and her dear big brother, Bernard Hughes Jr.

Over the last 10 years, she dedicated herself to the care of her two grandchildren with every fiber of her being – a task no grandmother should have, but one she embraced with infinite love. She poured all of herself into them, selflessly and without hesitation. With complete joy, she taught her grandkids what it means to be a genuine and good person, how to truly show care for others, and how to face adversity without a hardened heart. Her granddaughter got a tattoo for her Gram to be reminded of these qualities whenever it was needed. Upon revealing this to her, Gert teared up with love upon reading the ink: "When life leaves us blind, love keeps us kind." No matter the loss or adversity Gert faced in this life, her capacity to love allowed her to handle anything from inconvenience to tragedy with such remarkable, admirable grace, combatting bitterness with love. In this sense, and all others, she was an example to live by.

Nothing made her prouder through her final years than telling everyone that her granddaughter Jen was studying at the University of Connecticut; and nothing gave more purpose to Jen's studies than her Gram. She was the sunshine in the sky to her granddaughter; Gert was mom, dad, grandma, and best friend. Forever donning UConn clothing, Gert expressed her immense pride in this fact to anyone she could, cherishing conversations about UConn Basketball which naturally arose from those talks. Jen and her Gram often spoke about dreams of a new life together after graduating with the Class of 2020, a happily anticipated milestone Gert missed by less than two weeks.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services will be private, with a memorial to be held at a later time. In honor of Gert's selfless spirit and dedication to higher education, her family encourages memorial donations be made in her name to the UConn Students First Fund. This provides necessary financial assistance to UConn students facing extreme, unexpected hardship. This was a cause Gert was truly grateful for over the last years of her life; especially in the face of the current pandemic, we humbly ask those who are able to pay it forward by helping other students facing crisis in completing their education.

Arrangements By

Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home

135 Union Street
Rockland, MA 02370
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