Paul V. Batt of Williamsville, chairman and founder of Paul Batt Buick, died Saturday (Jan. 22, 2000) in Oakwood Health Care Center, Amherst, after a long illness. He was 83.
The Buffalo native opened his Buick dealership on Broadway in Lancaster in 1957 and moved the business to its current Walden Avenue location in Cheektowaga in 1973.
In the early 1950s, he operated Batt Buick in Dunkirk and later opened Batt Pontiac in Lockport.
The son of the late State Supreme Court Justice Paul J. Batt, he was raised as part of a family of 13 on Depew Avenue in North Buffalo. A longtime sportsman, he played football and hockey at Bennett High School and Canisius College. He and his brothers were the self-proclaimed ice hockey "champions" of the city's Central Park neighborhood in the 1920s and 1930s.
Long active in local automotive affairs, he was a past director of the Automobile Club of Western New York and the Buick Dealers of Western New York. He also served as a trustee of Fredonia State College in the early 1970s and was secretary and board member of Park Country Club of Williamsville. He was a founder and sponsor of the Buffalo Shamrock Youth Hockey organization in the 1950s.
Batt enlisted in the Navy in early 1942 and was assigned to the 7th Fleet in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He saw action in the Aleutian Islands campaign and was a gunnery officer on the escort carrier Salamaua. He fought in the Marianna Islands, Leyte Gulf and Linyagen Gulf naval battles.
He was wounded during the Linyagen Gulf action in early 1945, and his ship was severely damaged. He was discharged from the Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander.
After the war, he worked as a sales executive for Graybar Electric, RCA Victor, Hotpoint and the Oldsmobile Motor Division of the General Motors Corp. before opening his first dealership.
He was a longtime member of Christ the King Parish in Snyder and was active in the parish's Holy Name Society and annual Catholic Charities drive. Also, he was a founding member and officer of the Morningside Homeowners Association in Williamsville.
Batt was a member of the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association. He belonged to the Country Club of Buffalo, the Buffalo Club and the University Club.
His first wife, the former Mary Collins, died in 1987.
Survivors include his wife, the former Muriel "Micki" Patera; a daughter, Marylou of Belmont, Mass.; a son, Paul V. Jr. of Amherst, a former Buffalo News reporter; three sisters, Marjorie Cass and Beatrice Leous, both of Kenmore, and Dorothy Downes of St. Augustine, Fla.; five brothers, James and Jerome, both of Williamsville, Dr. Richard of Glens Falls, Theodore of Cleveland and Dr. David of Clifton Springs; and five grandchildren.
Prayers will be said at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home, 5541 Main St., Williamsville, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 in Christ the King Catholic Church, 30 Lamarck Drive, Snyder. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.