Ronald Elmer Batt, physician, researcher and historian - The Buffalo News
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Ronald Elmer Batt, physician, researcher and historian

September 24, 1933 - April 25, 2017

Dr. Ronald Elmer Batt, an internationally recognized physician, clinical researcher, and medical historian, died in his of Lancaster home Tuesday evening after a brief illness. He was 83.

Dr. Batt was clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.

Born in Buffalo, Dr. Batt attended Ss. Peter and Paul Grammar School, Neumann High School in Williamsville and Niagara University. A 1958 graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine, Dr. Batt then served as research fellow in reproductive endocrinology at Harvard Medical School, assistant-in-surgery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and as a clinical fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Min.

He served as a lieutenant in the Navy Medical Corps from 1960-62.

In 1968, he became a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, in Canada.

Dr. Batt was in private practice in Buffalo from 1970 to 1990, specializing in the treatment of endometriosis and infertility, teaching residents and medical students and taking an active role in research. He joined the full-time faculty at the UB medical school in 1995.

He was known nationally and internationally for his work on endometriosis and its pathophysiology and for developing his theory of developmental müllerian diseases, or müllerianosis.  Dr. Batt conducted countless personal interviews of faculty and staff from 1972-2002, creating a valuable recorded history of the medical school.

After retiring from clinical practice, he pursued his interest in history and completed a Ph.D. in the subject in 2009. His thesis research became the book, "The History of Endometriosis," which was published in 2013. At the time of his death, Dr. Batt was working on the second volume of this book.

He also served as commissioner of the Lancaster Village Historic Preservation Commission from 1995 to 2005.

Dr. Batt conducted extensive research on the history and architecture of the Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians in Cheektowaga, built by his great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Batt, Sr. in 1854.

In 1979, Dr. Batt and historian Glenn R. Atwell published their research in "The Chapel: A Comprehensive History of the Chapel and Pilgrimage of Our Lady Help of Christians," the same year the Chapel was placed on the New York State and National Register of Historical Buildings.

He is survived by his wife of 35 years, the former Kathleen Cansdale; two daughters Paula Batt Wilson and Jennifer Michalski; four sons Douglas, Thoma, Neil and John, thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He also is survived by six step-children: William Cansdale, James Cansdale, Suzanne Gill, Timothy Cansdale, John Cansdale, and Mark Cansdale, sixteen step-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren. Dr. Batt was previously married to Carol M. Batt of Williamsville.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in the Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians at 4125 Union Road, Cheektowaga.

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