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Donald Batchelder


1929 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Donald Batchelder Obituary
Donald "Don" B. Batchelder

1929 - 2015 BRATTLEBORO Donald "Don" B. Batchelder, 85, of 46 Tyler Street, died Monday morning at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. He was born in Barre, Vt. on May 1, 1929, the son of Harold and Audrey Batch-elder. He attended schools there and was an outstanding athlete at Spaulding Academy. Don attended Vermont Junior College for 2 years and then enlisted in the Navy, where he served as a medic in the hospital corps in Panama. Upon his return, he went on to attend and graduate from Middlebury College. In 1957 Don took a job with Squibb Pharma-ceuticals representing the upstate New York area. In that same year Don proposed to Helju Kivimae (Middlebury College, '56). He threatened poverty, promised poetry, and hinted at interesting times. What was a girl to do? In 1959 Don and Helju moved to Brattleboro, Vt. Don went to work for The Experiment in International Living (EIL), where he devoted his career to international development and training for 30 years. From 1960-62, Don was Director of Selection and Training for Peace Corps volunteers travelling to East Pakistan, Chile, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Peru. From 1963-65 he was Director of Special Projects for Gabon, Pakistan, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal, and Afghanistan. From 1965-68, Don was Peace Corps Director in Espirito Santo, Brazil. Don, Helju and their two young children returned to the United States in 1968. Don became the overseas Consultant to Peace Corps for EIL in India and Afghanistan. From 1969-71, he was Director of Teacher Ambassador Training Program in India and Korea. From 1972-76, he was Director of the Department of Cross Cultural Studies, World Issues Program (WIP), School for International Training: Korea, Mexico. From 1977-79, he was a member of the Experiment's Projects and Grants Task Force. From 1980-89, Don was the Director of Projects and Grants Division, directing all the Experiment's international and domestic service and development training programs: Uganda, Thailand and Indonesia. Don wanted to have one more experience overseas. In 1989 he became Director for Save the Children, Mozambique. Upon returning from Mozambique in 1992, Don retired to spend time at home with his family. He was an avid fly fisherman, skier, and sports fan. He loved spending time with his family and grandchildren at the beach in Maine or skiing at Burke Mountain. Sixty-five or so countries later, Don and Helju encountered some poverty, heard and made some poetry, and had a few interesting times, as promised. Having cultivated a rich life in the Brattleboro community and abroad, they have lived together in what children, grandchildren, and visitors deemed fittingly "The Big Blue House" in Brattleboro for the past forty-seven years. The rooms are filled with relics from across the world, each prompting countless stories which Don told in great detail. He not only shared his travels with those who entered, but transported listeners into the very center of his experiences with his vivid descriptions and stunning memory. It was known that Don was a great storyteller, but he was much more than that. He shared in great detail the extraordinary life he lived and the ones he touched. Survivors include his wife, Helju Batchelder; a son, Thomas E. Batchelder of Grantham, N.H.; a daughter, Annie Batchelder Boutin and her husband, Andy Boutin, of Lebanon, N.H.; six grandchildren, Emily Batchelder of Brattleboro, Vt., Thomas Burke Batchelder of Independence, Mo., Audrey Batchelder and Jackson Batchelder, both of Marlboro, Vt., Hannah Boutin and Claudia Boutin, both of Lebanon, N.H. There will be a cremation and a private burial in the Batchelder family plot in East Montpelier, Vermont. Contributions may be made in his memory to the , the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center or the organization of your choice. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence please visit www.atamaniuk.com.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer from Apr. 29 to May 2, 2015
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