Clem Illinois Batten

Published 7:49 pm Monday, March 5, 2018

Clem Illinois Batten, 87, of Smithfield slipped away peacefully at Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk with family by his side on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. He was born Nov. 9, 1930 to the late Clem C. and Agnes (Newby) Batten. 

Clem served in the U. S. Army. He retired from Newport News Shipbuilding as a riggers supervisor with more than 35 years of service. He was a faithful and active member of Brown’s A.M.E. Church where he served on many ministries. He enjoyed praying, giving his testimony and talking about the goodness of the Lord. You would always see him with a smile and he never met a stranger. He enjoyed being around his family and often seen hanging out at Hardees and the Dollar Store with friends. He was a jack-of-all trades for Rising Star Baptist Church, the community and whoever needed his service.  His latest hobby was working on small outside equipment; no matter what time someone would call, he was always willing to lend a helping hand.  He was a lifelong resident of Smithfield, where he made invaluable contributions to the community including serving on the town’s zoning Board of Appeals for several years.   He was a Mason with the Campbell’s Chapel Lodge.  Clem was a great lover of the Dallas Cowboys.

Clem is survived by his wife, Florence of more than 65 years; their children, Arttress Askew of Detroit, Mich.; Glen Batten of Ecorse, Mich.; Alma Gayton (Montie) of Manassas; and Cynthia Watson of Carrollton; two sisters, the Rev. Deloris Wooten of Carrollton, and Mable Taliaferro (Harry) of Smithfield; three brothers, Palfus Batten, Carrollton, Dalton Batten (Sylvia) Smithfield, and Illinois Batten, (Barbara), of Louisville, Ky.; seven grandchildren, Omedia Cutler of Norfolk, Danielle Dandridge and Christopher Washington of Detroit, Mich., Breon Batten of West Palm Beach, Fla., Ebony Carter (Brandon) of Manassas, Glen Batten Jr. of Kalamazoo, Mich., Brandon Watson of Carrollton and Kortea (Star) Askew of Atlanta, Ga.; four great-grandchildren, Jaedan and Jordynn Carter and Devin and Desmond Dandridge; two Goddaughters, Torsha (Tyrone Garland) and Michaiah Lemon; sister-in-law, Roslyn Sawyer, Portsmouth, and a host of relatives and friends.  Clem was PaPa, granddaddy, uncle, and friends to many.   

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Loving and kind in all his ways, upright and just to the end of his days, sincere and true in his heart and mind, beautiful memories he left behind.

A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, March 6, noon at Brown’s A.M.E. Church, Smithfield. Viewing will be Monday, March 5, 4-7 p.m. at Main Street Baptist Church, Smithfield, with a wake service from 6-7 p.m. Burial will take place at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, VA. 

Professional services are entrusted to Shivers Funeral Chapel.