PHOTO: Rowena and Lester Batterton at their home in York, Neb. Lester is a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a Tabitha Hospice client who continues to work in the couple’s rental property business.

“They call me the brains in the family,” said Lester Batterton.

And it is easy to see why. The 81-year-old has a long list of accomplishments. He served as a U.S. Air Force instructor, holds a master’s degree in industrial arts and helped his brother run an elevator business near York. Today, he helps manage area rental properties.

In addition to it all, he’s a Tabitha Hospice client. More than a year ago, a heart condition threatened to limit his life, so he and his wife, Rowena, turned to the support network of Tabitha Hospice, which serves 28 Nebraska counties wherever clients call home.

“At first I had the wrong opinion, I always thought hospice was a near-death experience,” Rowena said. “I found out it’s a comforting experience. It’s a support system.”

An Oklahoma native, Batterton joined the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, where he was quickly elected to be an instructor.

“I was in disbelief that I helped some of my comrades develop into distinguished pilots because at first, I felt that I wasn’t smart enough to teach others,” Batterton said. “It was during this time that I understood the importance of education and pursuing things you never thought you could do.”

After his service he earned multiple college degrees and became director of trade in industrial education in Juno, Alaska. He later opted to move closer to family in York, Nebraska, where he worked with his brother. And continues to manage Oak Street Rentals, with 11 properties in York and one in California.

“There’s no doubt there isn’t a day without work,” Batterton said, “but with the help of Tabitha Hospice, I’m able to continue helping my wife manage these properties.”

Through a relationship with Tabitha Hospice since 2015, Batterton lives in the comfort of his own home, while continuing to work and spend time with friends and family. He enjoys the company and help of Tabitha team members, who monitor his health, answer questions and manage changes.

“Tabitha Hospice supports my family and me so that I may continue working and living life to the fullest,” Batterton said.

For more information about Tabitha Hospice, click here or call 402.486.8520.