Betty Batchelder, 88, died peacefully at her home on April 5, 2017.
A lifelong resident of Stratham, NH, Betty lived intently - pushing boundaries, challenging outworn conventions, and enriching the lives of those fortunate to know her.
Betty was born in Exeter, NH, on November 7, 1928. She grew up on her parents' dairy farm on the Winnicutt River the quintessential farm girl. An independent and adventurous spirit took her to school in Cambridge, MA, returning with a degree and the start of her career working for an attorney in Exeter.
She met and married her husband, Jerry, in 1948, ultimately settling near her childhood home where they raised their six children. Still with preschool children, Betty went to work as Librarian for Stratham's Wiggin Memorial Library, and then as Librarian for Stratham Elementary school where she was also able to nourish her love of teaching. Betty took up yet another career as a potter and pottery teacher after retiring, which she continued until only a few years ago.
Never to be defined by her job or her family, Betty gave of her time in service throughout her life: with 4H, the Cooperative Extension, Beyond War, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus, and others. Over the years she held every lay position possible in the Stratham Community Church, which gave her great satisfaction, support, and comfort her entire life.
Betty's seemingly limitless energy kept her always seeking, learning, and growing. She and Jerry regularly opened their home, already full with family, to guests from around the world through foreign exchange programs. And when time allowed after her children were grown, she took every opportunity to travel herself. But perhaps her greatest joy was simply filling her home with friends and family, relishing every moment she could be with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Betty is survived by her children - David and Paula Batchelder, Dick and Jackie Batchelder, Don Batchelder and Patty Bennett, Allan Batchelder, Laura Batchelder, and Jim (Miles) Batchelder and Christopher Harper. Also by her grandchildren: Meagan, Mandi, Tyler, Jordan, Colin, Kelsey, Kate, Alicia, Erika, Josh, Meade, Nathan, and by sixteen great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on June 25 at Stratham Community Church, located on 6 Emery Lane in Stratham, NH, 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stratham Community Church or the Wiggin Memorial Library. Brewitt Funeral Service, 14 Pine St., Exeter, NH is assisting with arrangements.