Clarence Eugene Batdorf , 96, passed away July 8, 2020 at home in Belmont, California. He was born in Harrisburg, PA to parents, Harvey Clarence Batdorf and Susan Elizabeth Bahney. The family lived in Harrisburg where Harvey sold tea and coffee, then later ran a small grocery store. Clarence was the fourth of five children — Roy, Ethel and Arlene were older, Floyd was younger. When Clarence was four, the family moved to Elizabethville, PA where they lived for the first year with an aunt, uncle and cousins until they were able to get their own home. Clarence grew up in Elizabethville, a small town of approximately 1,300, until age 17 when he joined the Navy.
During his six years in the Navy Clarence became a machinist, was stationed all over the world, and was in active duty during WWII. He served aboard the USS Texas, USS Independence, USS Robert H Smith and USS Puget Sound. His ship was docked at Treasure Island near San Francisco at the end of WWII. There, he met Vergie Christensen and they were married within three months. They lived in San Francisco, bought their first home in San Mateo Village and moved to Belmont with their three children, Beverly, Ron and Kerry Sue in 1955.
In 1946, Clarence went to work for Koret of California as a sewing machine mechanic, then Sunshine Curtain for 9 years. While working at Schick, a manufacturer of shaving equipment, the mechanics went on strike. During that time, Fred Knauer approached Clarence and offered him a job at Western Curtain. At that time there were 7 employees. His responsibilities included machine repairs, cutting fabric, taking care of inventory, ordering fabric, managing the factory and eventually working into VP of operations. Dad worked for 16 years for Western Curtain Company and during that time the factory outgrew its location several times and expanded operations to include the manufacturing of bedspreads, employing 120. When the factory was moved to Reno, NV, Clarence helped in the move, but did not want to move to Reno.
He then explored real estate, but eventually went back to his original skill of fixing industrial sewing machines for clients all over the bay area. He owned his own business, Batdorf Enterprises, which included the sale of industrial sewing machines. He kept busy with this for approximately 40. During these years he took breaks to visit family, travel to Europe and cruise the world with Vergie. Clarence was devoted to Vergie and lovingly cared for her for many years.
Clarence enjoyed spending time with family and friends, caring for his home, cheering on the Giants, Warriors and 49ers and traveling. Hawaii was a favorite destination. He and Vergie generously invited and hosted family and friends to spend time with them in Hawaii where they often rented a home or condo for a few months in the winter. He also enjoyed camping, skiing and sailing in the bay.
He is survived by his daughters: Beverly (Ralph) McDonald and Kerry (Garey) Exeter; daughter-in-law, Barbara Batdorf; 9 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. Clarence is preceded in death by his wife, Vergie and his son, Ron.
Graveside services and interment will be held Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in the Richfield City Cemetery with military honors by the V.F.W. Post #5050 and Navy Honor Guard. Online guestbook and live streaming of the services can be found at www.maglebymortuary.com under Clarence's obituary. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti.
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