NOKOMIS, Ill. (WAND) - A beloved community member and servant lost his fight with a cancer.
Robert (Bob) Batty passed away on Monday at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. On Tuesday, community members and first responders caravanned through Nokomis to bring Batty back to be laid to rest.
Batty worked at the Nokomis Ambulance Service for over 30 years. He also volunteered with the Nokomis Fire Protection District and Nokomis Rescue Squad. Joe Gasprich worked alongside Batty for over 25 years and said his dedication to the community didn't go unnoticed.
"Bob was able to go out in the local community and see things that needed to be done and he did it," explained Gasprich.
In addition of his years of service, Batty also taught EMS courses and was part of the Nokomis Ambulance Service's Rescue Squad. Brandon Andrews, chief of the squad, recalled the joy it brought to him and Batty when they were both working on ideas for the crew.
"His knowledge and expertise was just A1 and it's definitely going to be passed down from generation to generation," Andrews said.
He was known as a good listener and community servant. Joletta Hill, Nokomis Ambulance Manager, said if it wasn't for Batty, she wouldn't have been a paramedic.
"Whether it is EMS or fire or community, he is going to leave an amazing legacy," Hill said.
When the Decatur native's health started to affect his job, he didn't stop serving the community. Batty worked on the park board and raised the funds for a community pool.
"He was here to not only serve the community, but be a mentor, a friend," said Hill.
Fire and EMS run in Batty's family. His father was part of it, he and his brother was part of it. His son, Tyler, is part of the Nokomis Ambulance Service and Tyler's son is working to be part of it, also.
Batty's celebration of life will be Sunday, Nov.22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nokomis Memorial Park House.