Walter Harold Baty was born in Anderson County on September 6, 1933. He passed away on January 16, 2021 in Shelbyville, Texas. Funeral service will be held on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2PM at Mangum Funeral Home, Center, Texas.
Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 1PM at Mangum Funeral Home.
Harold is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Jo Enmon; sons Walt and wife Kellie of Shelbyville, and Will and wife Jill, of Shelbyville; and grandchildren Wade Baty, Ali Baty, and Stephanie Zipperer. He is also survived by brother Sam Baty and wife Jenni of Houston; sisters Ida Baty of Tyler and Mary McKelvey of Palestine; and sisters-in-law Billie Bailey and Bettye Baty; numerous nieces and nephews; and special friend of 65 years, Monty Moore. He is preceded in death by his parents, Horace and Eva Jennings Baty; two brothers, Charles Baty and LeeRoy Baty; two sisters, Leona Wearden and Mickey Johnson; and brother-in-law Sherman Bailey.
Harold was the 5th child in a family of 8. He grew up on the Neches River and attended Neches Public School as a youth.
In 1953 he graduated from Milby High School in Houston and started his college work at the University of Houston.
In 1954, he was drafted into the Army and joined the 82nd Air Borne as a paratrooper and a member of the All-American 504 Red Devils. He spoke fondly of his time in the Military. After serving his country he resumed his college career. He earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, working his way through college with no monetary assistance from anyone.
It was at SFA that he met his beautiful wife Mary Jo. They married in 1959 and he began his teaching career in Galveston County at Bay Cliff Elementary School.
In 1962, he joined the faculty at Shelbyville School District as a Math Teacher, later becoming Jr. High Coach, High School Counselor, Jr. High Principal, High School Principal, and later Elementary Principal where he remained until his retirement in 1990 with 30 years in education.
After retiring from school business, he became a full time Farmer/Rancher on his farm in Shelbyville.
Mr. Baty also had religious, civic and professional involvement. Having made a profession of faith at an early age, he has served at various churches throughout his life, and was currently a church member, deacon, and Sunday School Teacher at Ephesus Baptist Church.
He was a 50+ year member of Sam Houston Masonic Lodge #32, a member of Gideons International, a Farm Bureau Member, a past Director of the Heritage Land Bank Board, and a past member of Shriner and Scottish Rites. He was a Lifetime Member of Texas State Teachers Association and served as President of the Shelby County Unit when it was active.
During his time as an educator, he was also a farmer/rancher. He started the day by checking at least 4 houses of chickens, driving a school bus route, teaching all day, driving the return bus route, coaching during ball season at night, and to add to that, feeding 3 to 4 herds of cattle plus checking those chickens again every evening.
He was all of this and a dedicated, loving husband and father to 2 growing boys. Having grown-up without a father that was a good role model, he worked extremely hard to be a good father to his children and always be there for them. He was a man who knew how to work, who taught his boys how to work, and was happiest when he was working the hardest.
No stranger to tragedy, in 1973, his son Walt was almost killed by a hit and run driver. Had it not been for the quick response of him, his son may not have survived. Later Will totaled a brand new pick-up truck and walked away without a scratch. In 1995, Mr. Baty was diagnosed with cancer. He refused to be defeated. In 2020, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Again he refused to be defeated.
There were triumphs along the way. In 1987, both Will and Walt were married. They brought wonderful daughters into the family, but in 1997 the adoption of Ali, a beautiful little girl, put the icing on the cake. In 1998, the birth of Wade, a handsome young man and the fourth one to carry the initials of “WHB”, gave him “a joy unspeakable.” He was a happy man!
You may have heard him speak of his love for Shelby County. He often said “many are born here, but I chose to live here because of the people.” Harold Baty loved the people, and he especially loved Mr. Enmon, Mary Jo’s father. He loved him as if he were his own father, and Mrs. Enmon was one of his most avid supporters. He loved her dearly.
Harold Baty was not a man of many words. He was a quiet, gentle man who loved greatly. He was an endearing husband, a proud father, adoring grandfather, and a dependable, loving brother and trusted, giving friend. His place is one that will never be filled. He will be greatly missed… but he lived by faith that we will all be together again.
Pallbearers serving will be Kenneth Hardy, Patrick Nethery, Chuck Bailey, Bradley Lovell, Lamar Rash, and Kevin Greathouse.
Honorary pallbearers serving will be Men of the Men’s Sunday School Class at Ephesus Baptist Church, and Men of Ephesus Baptist Church, Jimmy Strong, James “Tator” Cox, Gerald Corbell, Lane Chambers, and Clint Chambers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gideon’s International, 50 Century Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37214.
To send condolences and sign the online guest book you may go to www.mangumfh.net.
Mangum Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.