Elmer Earle Batts was born on June 10, 1920, in Wilson, North Carolina, to Bessie Harper Batts and Jacob Demote Batts. At the age of nine he had abscesses in both ears, leaving him with severe life-long hearing loss. Upon graduation from high school in Wilson, Dr. Batts worked various jobs, including the Center Brick Tobacco Warehouse, a National Youth Association construction program, and a forest fire tower watchman. He also worked at the Branch Banking and Trust Co. after he had attended night school at Atlantic Christian College and had studied bookkeeping and typing.
Dr. Batts then moved to Miami, Florida, and worked full-time nights at a trucking company while completing his pre-medical studies at the University of Miami, where he was president of the chemistry club. Dr. Batts completed his first two years of medical school at the University of North Carolina, and then was awarded a full-tuition scholarship by the Harvard University Medical School for his final two years of medical school. During the summers while attending medical school he worked at a private psychiatric hospital and in the office of the North Carolina state highway system. After receiving his M.D. from Harvard in 1950, Dr. Batts interned at San Francisco General Hospital. He completed his residency in dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Early in his professional life Dr. Batts was an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Stanford University, and was also the dermatology consultant at San Quentin Prison. From 1955 to 1957 he served his country as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. He then concentrated on the practice of clinical dermatology, and was known as an outstanding diagnostician.
Dr. Batts was a quiet, intensely private person. An avid equestrian who had ridden to the summit of Mt. Whitney, he took pleasure in breeding and showing his beloved Arabian horses, and also enjoyed his bonsai and orchid gardens, and playing his violin in chamber music groups.
Dr. Batts died peacefully at home on September 4, 2017, after having endured the challenges of advanced Parkinson’s Disease with nobility. He is survived by his wife Kay; sons Edward (Robyn) and Harper (Cheryl); step- and grandchildren Katie Batts, Ava, Grayson, and Mark Hudgens, and Karl Kaldenhoff.
The family especially thanks Cynthia Guinto Gervasio for her many years of devoted and compassionate care. The family also thanks the following other members of the team of caregivers for their years of dedicated and caring professional service: Andres M. De Guzman, Jan Paul Sta Maria De Guzman, Paolo Esguerra, Jose Luis Liwag, and Eusebio Medina , Jr.
Services were private. Contributions in memory of Dr. Batts may be made to the Salvation Army.