In Remembrance of
Michael Reed Batz
January 29, 1949 - September 20, 2009
Beloved husband, father, brother and dear friend to many, passed away one year ago at the age of 60, after a long dance with prostate cancer. Michael was born in San Francisco, son of Morrie and Harrie Batz. As a young child the family moved to Mill Valley, California. His childhood memories were filled with stories of playing, hiking and camping in the woods around his home throughout Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpias. Always curious about how things worked, Michael became known for his creative endeavors ranging from go carts to neighborhood intercom systems rigged between houses to talk with his friends. As he got older, this inventive creativity continued to his cars, home and work life. As a teenager, Michael was passionate about sports and played on the Tamalpias High School football and varsity baseball team. He graduated high school in 1967 and continued on to community college until a draft notice caught up with him during a school break. In 1970 he enlisted in the US Navy in which he served his active duty in the Philippines. Upon discharge he returned to college and graduated from Sonoma State University with a BS in Geology.
Michael moved to Stinson Beach, CA where he ran a small local water district and became known for his creative problem solving by creating "The Batz Knot", a length of water piping that wrapped its way around an old local tree allowing it to remain intact while meeting the water needs of the community.
After leaving Stinson Beach, Michael's professional life took him in the direction of consulting as he began designing engineered wastewater systems, which he continued to do through 2009. He coauthored a study focusing on the impact of wastewater systems in the San Lorenzo Valley, which was published in the early eighties and also worked for Santa Clara County Environmental Health Department as an Environmental Health Inspector (1988 - 2001).
During his college geologic field studies in the California desert, Michael found solace in the expansive beauty and solitude of the desert region. He became involved with an organization called Rites of Passage, in Marin, where he became a wilderness guide and eventually co-director. He guided adolescents and adults into the desert wilderness as a way for them to mark a life transition or significant life experience. This work became his life's passion as he recognized the impact of nature on one's soul.
Michael was known for his kind, gentle ways, quirky sense of humor, love of nature, and dedication to his family and friends.
Michael is survived by his wife Julia, daughters Ariana Batz and Jenea Phillips, son Christopher Pollock, two beautiful granddaughters, his mother Harrie Batz, and sisters Dara Uzmack, Devra Batz and Melissa McDonnell. He is dearly missed by all who knew him and whose lives were touched by him.
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