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Connie Battaile Obituary

Connie Battaile

February 19, 1936 - December 11, 2018

Connie Hopkins Battaile of Portland was a retired librarian, author, botany and geology enthusiast, mother of two, and grandmother of two.

She was born in 1936 in Elkins, West Virginia, to Howard Hopkins and Margaret Fowler Hopkins. She was raised in Waldport, Oregon where her father was the U.S. Forest Service District Ranger. She attended Oregon State College and the University of Oregon (BA in Psychology 1957).

She met Julian Battaile while an undergraduate. They married in 1958 and eventually settled in Ashland in 1962 where he joined the faculty of the Southern Oregon College (now SOU) Chemistry department. She became active in a variety of public service and policy organizations, serving as president of the League of Women Voters during a successful effort to update the city charter, the Ashland Citizens Budget Committee, and the Jackson County Planning Commission. She received her Masters in Library Science from the University of Hawaii in 1976 and worked as a librarian at the Medford Public Library, the Southern Oregon State College library, and the Colgate University library (Hamilton, NY), retiring from the latter.

Connie authored two books: "Circulation Services in a Small Academic Library", and "The Oregon Book: Information A to Z". Based on her research for The Oregon Book, she became a Chautauqua speaker for the Oregon Council for the Humanities (2007-2009). Her talk, "Outside of Ordinary Oregon", focused on little-known events in the state's history such as the Stumbo Strip and the Copperfield Affair.

During this time she became a hospice volunteer, and subsequently developed and taught classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SOU on "Final Arrangements": making the legal and organizational preparations for dying. She taught the same classes for organizations including the Unitarian Church after moving to Portland in 2012.

She had a strong interest in plants; she gardened actively and she and Julian performed field surveys for the Oregon Flora Project from 2000 to 2005. For the flora project they made an ongoing botanical inventory of a 620 square mile area of SW Klamath county, where they collected and identified 670 species of plants. Connie had a particular interest in willows and willow identification.

She also developed a strong interest in geology after retiring, taking college classes at SOU and participating in field trips across the West through this year. For the last few years she had been an active participant in two Buddhist meditation groups near her home in Portland's Hillsdale neighborhood.

Three months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, she died peacefully at Hopewell House hospice with family by her side. She is survived by her sons Bennett Battaile (Meenakshi Rao) and Gordon Battaile (Drinda Preston), grandsons Bryson and Callen, her sister Jill Herzig (David Peterson), five nieces and nephews, and five grandnieces and grandnephews. Her husband Julian died in 2005.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Community Foundation.





For more information, contact: Jeanne Stallman, Executive Director, Outreach and Engagement, dce@sou.edu.


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