Elsie Edna Clara Batchelor was born to Henry and Lena Schutte on Nov. 5, 1929, in Eden, Idaho. She grew up on the family farm during the Depression and life was not easy for her family.
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She knew that she did not want to live the difficult life of a farm wife. With the help and encouragement of her mother, she was able to attain her childhood dream of becoming a nurse; she attended Emanuel Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Portland, Ore., and received her nursing diploma in 1951.
After working for several years in public health nursing, she met the love of her life, Ronald Batchelor. They married in Pendelton, Ore., on Oct. 11, 1958.
The following year their life together changed with the birth of twins, Mark and Kitty. Shortly thereafter they started a wonderful adventure to Kodiak, Alaska. Son Randy was soon born, and if they weren't busy enough, daughter Jana arrived 15 months later!
In 1965, they packed up their four preschoolers and traveled down the Alcan Highway towing a U-Haul trailer; Scottsdale, Ariz., was their destination, where they lived for the next six years. Mom not only gave her "tribe" the love and care that they needed but worked part time as a nurse, too. During their time in Arizona they longed to be back in the mountains.
In 1971, they moved to Bozeman and have lived there ever since. Mom was such a caring person and guided by her faith in God. She touched many lives.
The latter part of her nursing career found her caring for the elderly. She valued doing God's work and never wavered from helping to make other people's lives more comfortable. After she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it became her passion to bring this disease out of the closet, in order to help others touched by this condition. With Ron by her side, she started the Forgetters Club, a support group for people and their families who are dealing with dementia issues. She worked tirelessly up to the end to help others live more peaceful lives.
Her family is so proud of all that she accomplished throughout her life despite her many challenges. She was so much more than just a loving wife and wonderful mother; she was our dear friend and mentor. Even with humble beginnings, she accomplished so much in her life and touched our hearts with her love and care. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Elsie is survived by her loving husband, Ron; children, Kitty (Mitchell) Leu, Mark (Elisabeth) Batchelor, Randy (Miwa) Batchelor and Jana (Bill) Pursell; grandchildren, Kearstyn, Katie and Kelsie Leu, Alisa and Erika Batchelor and Jennifer, Natalie, and Melissa Pursell; brother, Henry (Shirley) Schutte; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1:30 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 W. Graf St.
Her family requests that, in lieu of flowers, people consider a donation to the
at 3010 11th Ave. North, Billings, MT, 59101 or to the Discovery Appeal for Hope Lutheran Church at 2152 W. Graf St., Bozeman, MT.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service, www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 20, 2011