Stephen J. Batza - December 4, 2008.

HANNACROIX – At the age of 86 Stephen J. Batza has left us to hold God’s hand in eternal rest on Thursday, December 4, 2008.  Born July 1, 1922 to his late parents John and Anastasia (Guzy) Batza in Watervliet Stephen was destined to lead a very fulfilling and ambitious life.  After losing his father at the age of 8, Stephen grew into a glorious young man.  He raised chickens to butcher for the citizens of Watervliet that grew into his own grocery store when he was fresh out of high school.  After that Stephen decided to join the Army during WWII.  Stephen was honorable discharged due to illness after serving less than a year.  Upon his return home he found work at NBC (National Bread Co.) delivering bread in Greene County.  During this time is when he almost ran into his loving wife Elsie Grace Albright, literally with the bread truck.  Stephen and Elsie were married May 5, 1946 and together they embarked on their own journey.  They owned a restaurant and cabins on Route 9W in Hannacroix.  They built the Hannacroix Hardware Store and the Post Office.  After all of that work they took some time off to tour the country.  When they returned home they opened the locksmith shop behind Albright’s Garage and Stephen has worked there until just recently.

     Stephen was well known for his hard work, beautiful handcrafted cabinetry, his smile and laugh and his stories of the good old days.  Stephen has touched so many and will never be forgotten.

     Stephen is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Elsie Grace Batza;  sister, Marjorie Poulin;  children, John (Donna) Batza, Joseph (Denise) Batza and Joyce (Richard) Recor;  his grandchildren who he loved dearly, Jennifer, David, Stephen, Michael and Amy;  and many other relatives and friends.

     Funeral services will be held 11 AM Monday, December 8th at the Congregational Christian Church, Ravena.  Burial will follow in Chestnut Lawn Cemetery, New Baltimore.  Friends may call at the Babcock Funeral Home, Ravena on Sunday from 2 to 5 PM.

     Please make contributions in Stephen’s name to the Congregational Christian Church, 175 Main St., Ravena, NY 12143 or to Community Hospice of Columbia/Greene, 47 Liberty St., Catskill, NY 12414.