Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 8, 2014

Jonathan G. Baatz

MAPLE CITY — Jonathan Gerritt “Tim” Baatz, 87, of Maple City, passed away on Saturday, July 5, 2014, at the Masonic Home in Alma, where he had been living for the past four years. Tim was born on Nov. 1, 1926, in Detroit, to the late Robert D. and Margaret E. (Welch) Baatz.

When he was four years old the family moved to Maple City, where he attended Shady Valley School and worked on the family farm.

When World War II broke out he left for Detroit to work at Chrysler. Tim was then drafted into service with the United States Army, where he was trained in Radio School. He served in Germany as a code breaker until his discharge in 1946. He was in the Michigan Reserves until he reenlisted for the Korean War.

After the war he worked for the C&O railroad as a station agent, retiring after 31 years.

He was a longtime member of the Masonic Lodge #597, Scottish Rite, Shriners, Knights Templar and VFW. Tim volunteered every year at the Old Settlers Picnic in Burdickville as well as the NMC (Olesen’s) Barbecue.

Tim is survived by six daughters, Margaret “Peggy” Alaxanian, Ruby R. Sykes, Roberta D. Baatz, Jeanine G. Graunke, April E. Baatz, all of North Carolina, and Karen E. Udd, of Illinois, and their mothers, Theresa and Sharon; sisters, Grace Vert, Marjorie (Bob) Lessard, Gwen Durga and Ruth “Sally” (Frank) Majszak; sisters-in-law, June Baatz and JoAnn Baatz; 20 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

Tim was preceded in death by his wife, Joan (Kilinski) Baatz; sons, Irving E. Welch, Kim “Mickey” Welch and Robert D. Baatz III; daughter, Terri L. Warren; brothers, R.D., Rod and Arnold; and brothers-in-law, Jack Vert and Al Durga.

Visitation for friends and family will be held on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held Thursday, July 10, at 3 p.m., also at the funeral home, with visitation starting at 2 p.m. Graveside services will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery, where he will receive full military honors by VFW Cherryland Post #2780.

Memorial contributions in memory of Tim may be directed to the Masonic Pathways in Alma.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Jonathan’s family by visiting

Arrangements for the family have been entrusted to Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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