Obituaries » Ollie Mae Gardner Batts

November 7, 1924 - January 5, 2019

Service Date: January 8, 2019

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Ollie Mae Gardner Batts
November 7, 1924 – January 5, 2019

Ollie Mae Gardner Batts, 94, died Saturday at Wilson Rehab and Nursing Center, where she lived the last few years.

A visitation will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Joyner’s Funeral Home prior to the funeral at 2 p.m. The Rev. Ray Wells will officiate. Burial will follow at Evergreen Memorial Park.

Mrs. Batts was born the fifth of seven daughters born to Walter and Martha Gardner. She lived her life on the Gardner family farm in Elm City, first with her parents and sisters in the family homeplace, and then with her husband, Harvey Talmadge “Tab” Batts, and their three sons in a house across the road.

She graduated from Elm City High School and worked on the family farm raising tobacco, cotton and livestock. She and Tab were active in the Grange and 4-H with their sons, Walter, Billy and Reggie. She often recalled 4-H activities and trips with her boys and the other children in the club, who still remember her fondly.
Tab died in 1970, and she never remarried.

To help make ends meet, Mrs. Batts started selling merchandise at area flea markets that operated out of tobacco warehouses in Wilson. She had booths at various locations in the area and eventually opened her own shop, This and That, just outside Sharpsburg. The shop was packed with antiques, Christmas decorations, dolls and other treasures and drew customers from throughout the region. Her business was featured in area newspapers and WRAL Channel 5. Mrs. Batts loved her flea market days. She enjoyed finding items to sell, and she loved visiting with her customers and other vendors.
After retiring from the flea markets, she looked forward to spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. During her years at the nursing home, she loved making little treat bags for great-grandchildren Sora, Emma, Liam and Billeigh Mae Batts. She saved her daily snacks of chips and little cans of soft drinks so she could give them gifts when they visited.

Mrs. Batts is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Reggie and Lisa Batts of Wilson; daughter-in-law Melissa Bissette Batts; grandchildren Ben Batts of Kenly and wife Melissa, Will Batts of Nashville and wife Felicia, Robert Batts of Cary and Anna Batts of Ayden and fiance, Daniel Tyson; as well as several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sons Walter Talmadge Batts and William Gardner “Billy” Batts of Elm City; granddaughter, Amanda Batts; her sisters, Gladys Pittman, Mary Ruth Owens, Margie Leonard, Alice “Shine” Batts, Florence “Pete” Barnes and Susan Vick; and a brother who died in infancy.

Family will also be receiving visitors at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Reggie and Lisa Batts of Wilson.

Condolences may be directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home at

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