Our dearly loved Sheila Katherine Batey, born Oct. 12, 1949, in Pullman, died peacefully in her home in Winchester, Jan. 9, 2013, due to complications of kidney failure. Sheila wishes to be remembered for her political involvement that she recalls started in sixth grade. In Pullman and later in Moscow, Sheila was an advocate for the mentally ill and testified before a Washington state legislative subcommittee on mental illness during Gov. Booth Gardner's term in the 1980s. In the late 1970s, Sheila completed a degree in anthropology at Washington State University with social work and women studies emphases. Over the years, she supported others with mental illness, including those at Gritman day treatment center in Moscow and at her final residence at Lakeside Residential Care in Winchester.
Sheila's great loves were nature, music of all cultures, writing, and matters of the spirit. She wrote, "At my passing, speak of the fresh air, the sky, the water, and of all those childhood memories of playful wonderment and adventure." Sheila wrote two large unpublished manuscripts of poetry and essays, titled "Mad Theology" and "God Found Me on the Locked Ward of an Insane Asylum." She pursued her interest in the world's religions and spirituality in lifelong study and conversation.
She was preceded in death by her father, Harry Hallsted Batey Jr., on Nov. 17, 2001. She is survived by her mother, Kate Batey, older brother, Tom, and younger sisters, Anne and Barbara. Sheila's extended family includes aunts, uncles, first and second cousins, brothers-in-law, a sister-outlaw, a nephew, members of the Beaver Creek Camp Association of Priest Lake, and a large circle of friends, who she deeply appreciated for their letters and calls in her last weeks.
Our family plans a memorial celebration of her life this summer at Priest Lake. Remembrances can be made in her name to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI 3803 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203; (800) 950-NAMI; www.nami.org.