Batjer services fill Presbyterian Church |

Batjer services fill Presbyterian Church

Shannon Litz/Nevada AppealPeople talk in the rotunda at the Nevada Supreme Court Building on Thursday afternoon following a memorial service for former Nevada Supreme Court Justice Cameron M. Batjer.

A virtual who’s who of Nevada judicial, legal and political leaders turned out Thursday to attend services for Cameron Batjer.

A total of 283 people crowded the First Presbyterian Church on Musser to hear Batjer, a former chief justice of the Nevada Supreme Court, praised by friends and family as a man of intelligence, honesty and integrity.

He died June 1 at age 91.

Justice Ron Parraguirre, who said his family and the Batjer family go back four generations, said Batjer was “a man of great honor” whose family can “take comfort in that he lived such a full, rich life.”

Paul Lamboley, who met Batjer while a Supreme Court law clerk in 1967, praised Batjer’s commitment to the law and public service.

“But above all was his commitment to his family,” he said.

Batjer served 14 years on the high court before he was appointed to the U.S. Parole Commission by President Ronald Reagan.

His daughter Marybel described him as the best possible father with never a harsh word to his wife or daughters.

“Mom was our rock,” she said. “Dad was our soft, sweet shoulder on which we leaned.”

Despite the fact her father loved to dance, she said, she and her two sisters weren’t convinced he was as coordinated as he believed he was. So, when he was 85 years old, she bought him weekly dance lessons.

Nephew Douglas Gamble said Batjer also was well known for his sense of humor. He pointed to the name he gave a pet cat in 1972, saying, “It says a lot about Cameron but I’m not sure what it says.”

He named the cat Spiro T. Agnew during the height of the criminal investigation that ultimately forced the vice president’s resignation.

Before he was named to the Nevada Supreme Court by then-Gov. Paul Laxalt, Batjer served as district attorney of Ormsby County, now Carson City. After his service during World War II, he was a teacher and coach at Fernley High School.

He graduated from law school in 1950 and served as chief counsel to the Utah State Senate before a stint in Washington, D.C., for Nevada Sen. Molly Malone.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Lura.

Family members asked that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor him contribute to the Cameron M. Batjer Scholarship Fund at the National Judicial College, at the University of Nevada, Reno.