Boats 01

William Robert Batley

February 12, 1935 ~ August 11, 2019 (age 84)


Mr. William Robert Batley, age 84 of 200 Old Siler City Rd., Pittsboro, NC passed on Sunday, August 11, 2019 at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill, NC.

It is with heavy heart we must share the unexpected news that Bill Batley, a true son of the sea, has set sail for Valhalla, where daughter Vicky & son Robbie welcomed him with open arms.  William Robert Batley passed peacefully Sunday August 11th at UNC Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC after a brief stay.

Bill was born in Philadelphia, PA. in 1935, difficult times for America & for his widowed mother, Blanche Eckert Batley, but with younger sister Carole by his side, soon joined by little sister Karen Paradiso Winks, they met the challenges of the day.  Bill also was fortunate to have his father’s sister, Mary Ann Burkhart offer him escape from the inner city in West Newton, PA, where as a young teenager Bill had a trap line he checked each morning before school, where he hunted with best friend Bob Peebles, trading in crow’s feet for bullets.  His love for nature was born there.  A Navy veteran, having served on the USS Missouri during the Korean War, Bill kept the dream of returning to the sea in his heart, and, after many years as an owner operator, Bill sold his truck and bought an old wooden boat and set sail for Key West where he met and married his true love, Linda in 1982.  They raised son Claes on board Dance before moving to Pittsboro in 1988. 

During these last 37+ years, Bill has been a good friend to many and, for a lucky few, confidant and counselor.  Bill enjoyed helping anyone in need with their projects, putting his own aside, but his happiest moments were those spontaneous conversations with family, friends or strangers, with people young or old, black or white, rich or poor.  He loved these encounters with people, eager to learn something new, or share a good story.  Bill made one feel so good by his kind nature & humble heart.  So, please visit to see some photos of his wonderful life, and remember, the cure for anything is salt water—tears, sweat and the sea.  Listen more, talk less and let’s open our hearts as wide as the open sea. 

This wonderful man will be honored by family and friends on Saturday August 24th at 3pm at St. Bart’s Pittsboro NC.

 Bundin er batleys madur.  Bound is the boatless mau.   (Old Norse Saying)


            In Lieu of flowers donations to your local Audubon would be greatly appreciated.


Arrangements By: Knotts Funeral Home - Pittsboro

To send flowers to William's family, please visit our floral section.


Memorial Service
August 24, 2019

3:00 PM
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
204 W. Salisbury Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312

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