H. Jay “Bat” Masterson died Dec. 3.

He was born Sept. 22, 1935, to Herbert and Garnett (Anderson) Masterson in Burbank, Calif. When Jay was around the age of 7, the family moved to a farm in Southern Oregon. Jay attended Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls where he met Ruth Durgin. They married in August 1956, and in 1958, they moved to Burns.

In 1958, Jay joined the National Guard and served for several years. Later, he completed his electrical apprenticeship and became a licensed electrician and worked in that position at Edward Hines Lumber (later Snow Mt. Pine, Frenchglen Millwork and LP Lumber). He served the Hines Volunteer Fire Department for 31 years and served as fire chief for six of those years.

He loved living in Harney County and calling it home. He and Ruth raised two children, Mike and Christine.

Life was always busy. When not working, the family spent countless weekends in the desert and mountains either camping, hunting or riding motorcycles. Many trips included family and friends. Jay always loved being with his family and friends.

His one self-indulgence was his Harley and going out for rides. His love of motorcycles, and his knack to fix them, made him well-known. He was always willing to help the neighborhood kids get their mini-bikes and dirt bikes running again. When his grandchildren came along, he always had a mini-bike working so they could ride around his big yard.

Jay is survived by his wife, Ruth; son, Mike Masterson and wife Sammie; daughter, Chris Wagner; six grandchildren, Lisa Wagner, Leslie Wagner, Anna Masterson, Whitney and husband Julio Ruiz, Alex Wagner, and Jay Masterson; sister, Emily and husband Tiny Knight; and great-granddaughters, Nevaeh and Henessy Ruiz.

He was a devoted husband, loving father, adoring grandfather and cherished friend.

Memorial services for H. Jay “Bat” Masterson were held on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Burns Elks Lodge.

Contributions in Jay’s memory can be made to the Desert Riders Group or the Hines Volunteer Fire Department in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, P.O. Box 488, Burns, OR 97720.


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