Jack A. Batterson, of Columbia died Nov. 15, 2020, at University Hospital from complications of leukemia. A private family burial was held at Memorial Park Cemetery.

The son of Jack L. and Polly Batterson, Jack was born Dec. 2, 1959, in Columbia.

Just after his first birthday, he lost half of his hearing from a virus, and his future life was one of prevailing over obstacles.

Jack treasured his years at Hickman High School, never losing track of his many friends.

While at Hickman, Jack was very involved in the music program. His clarinet and saxophone skills led to the offer of a full music performance scholarship at the MU music department, graduating with a bachelor’s and a master’s in music history.

His master’s thesis on the life and career of Blind Boone was later published by the University of Missouri Press as “Blind Boone: Missouri’s Ragtime Pioneer.” It was published as part of the Missouri Heritage Series.

This was the first modern biography of Boone, helping to initiate the Blind Boone surge of interest in Columbia.

Jack went on to serve as a member of the Blind Boone Foundation, which led to the restoration of the Blind Boone home in Columbia.

The son of two history professors, Jack realized that his love of books was as important to him as his love of music. He then went on to earn a master’s in library science at the Indiana University in Bloomington just as librarianship was embracing technology and expanding in scope.

Specializing in cataloging as a career, he worked at Xavier University Library in Cincinnati.

He later returned to Columbia to work at MU’s Ellis Library for 27 years.

It took Jack quite a time to find his perfect soulmate, Mary Eileen Woods of Prairie Village, Kansas.

They were married May 30, 1998, and both worked as librarians. Mary worked at Columbia College and Jack at MU.

For the next 22 years, Jack’s happiness was complete as they enjoyed a harmonious and loving marriage.

In his later years, although hampered by health problems, Jack nevertheless enthusiastically practiced his vocation of retirement planning and financial investment.

Jack continued this interest until his final day. His concern for others was exemplified by his loving attention to the needs of his wife and mother.

Jack is survived by his wife, Mary; his mother, Polly; his father-in-law, Jim Woods of Overland Park, Kansas; his brother-in-law, Paul Woods of Overland Park; his niece, Kate Woods; and nephew, Brian Woods of Prairie Village.

Although divided in distance, his continued contact with his numerous cousins in Ohio remained especially important to him.

Preceding him in death were his father, Jack L. Batterson; his mother-in-law, Teresa Woods; grandparents on both sides of his family; and his aunts and uncles in Ohio.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Blind Boone Foundation, P.O. Box 163, Columbia, 65201.

Online condolences may be made at the Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery website.

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