Monday, June 24, 2024

Robert W. Batchelder, 93

WILMINGTON — Robert W. Batchelder, PhD passed away January 8, 2023. Bob, “Coach”, “Batch” was born in Brockton, MA, 1929. His parents Anne and Harry A. Batchelder soon moved their family to West Allis, Wisconsin. Here, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Jane Beck in 1950.

Bob Received a baccalaureate degree in Physical Education and Science from La Crosse State College. He turned down an offer to play for the Green Bay Packers after a stunning performance in the 1951 Cigar Bowl. Instead, Bob pursued graduate degrees in Educational Administration (MA) and a Doctorate of Education. Bob joined the faculty of the La Crosse State (UW – La Crosse) in 1956. He was particularly devoted to the players and fellow coaches in football and basketball. The 1959 team finished a winning season outscoring their opponents 274 – 81. Bob also initiated and developed the collegiate wrestling program at La Crosse and coached men’s golf.

In 1965, Bob became a full professor at UW – La Crosse and was honored to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award. In 1988, He retired as Professor Emeritus.

Bob was a loyal member of the Zor Shrine Temple and Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Madison, WI. He and Bev cherished the friendships they made living on Solaris Lane and during the tenure at the University. They also attended the Lutheran Church in Wisconsin, Florida and Wilmington, NC.

Bob was a father figure, a mentor and a friend to nearly everyone he met. His smile and beautiful blue eyes radiated warmth and joy. He will be missed by all.

He was predeceased by Beverly, his wife of seventy -two years and son, Curt Lane Batchelder. Survivors include son, Craig, grandchildren Zan (Savannah), Aubrey (Luis), Bret (Haley) and Austin.

In lieu of flower donations, donations to the Robert W. and Beverly J. Batchelder Scholarship for the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation would be appreciated. 615 East Avenue North, PO Box 1148 La Crosse, WI 54602-1148.

A memorial service for both Bob and Bev will be held in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They will rest together again in the Garden of Peace Mausoleum of La Crosse.

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