Peterborough - David Lester Batchelder died after a short illness on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, with loving family surrounding him.
Dave was born in Greenville on March 15, 1926, the son of Lester W. and Marion (Hardy) Batchelder. He was one of 11 siblings.
After graduation from Appleton Academy in New Ipswich, he joined the U.S. Navy
in 1943, where he served as a radio airman in various locales, including Quonset Point in Rhode Island. He met his beloved wife of 66 years, Etta E. (Corvese) Batchelder during his tour of duty in Quonset Point in North Kingstown, R.I. They were married on Sept. 30, 1946, shortly after completing his service to his country.
Dave returned to New Hampshire with his new wife to settle in New Ipswich in the cozy, cape-style house he built for the two of them. He began a long career as a dedicated General Electric Company employee, including many years as the manager of the office of services and reprographics in Fitchburg, Mass. For 15 of those years, he was a member of the board of directors of the General Electric Credit Union, including time spent as president and chairman of that board. He furthered his education at Fitchburg State College and University of Massachusetts Extension.
Dave's life was marked by service to others, accomplishment and, above all, humility; he would be the last person to list to anyone all he has done, so it is in honor to his memory that the following serves as a brief, and by no means inclusive, overview: Dave was active in local amateur dramatics in his youth, an interest and hobby he shared with his wife, Etta, and also served his town on the planning board and the appeals board of New Ipswich. He was a member and leader in several fraternal orders, including the American Legion, where he was a member of the LeClair-Caron Post No. 13 and served for five years as the adjutant and two years as the commander of the Leonard I. Kangas Post No. 107.
He began a lifelong affiliation with Freemasons in November 1949 that culminated with his appointment as grand master of Masons in the State of New Hampshire in 1978. Thereafter, he remained active with the Past Master's Unit and the Temple Guard, as well as a member of the Past Master Anniversary Lodge of Research No. 175; he also served on the Grand Lodge Masonic Education Committee, where he was editor of the Grand Lodge Bulletin. With the Freemasons, he belonged also to several York Rite Bodies, including King Solomon's Chapter No. 17, Milford; Israel Hunt Council No. 8, Nashua; and Saint George Commandery, Nashua. He was also a member of the following Scottish Rite Bodies: the Aaron P. Hughes Lodge of Perfection of Nashua; Oriental Council, Princes of Jerusalem of Nashua; the New Hampshire Consistory, 32 degrees, Nashua; and served as the orator of the St. George Chapter of the Rose Croix of Nashua. In September 1979, he was granted the highest honor of the Scottish Freemasons, the Thirty-third Degree. He was also a life member of the Shriners and became the Bektash Temple potentate in 1988 as well as being a Salem Shrine Club member and secretary treasurer of New Hampshire Cabiri (past potentate's club). For years, he and his wife worked at local soup kitchens and well into his 80's he was still energetically serving his community, becoming a member of the board of directors for a local program for children with learning disabilities. For the past several years, despite his declining physical health, he has cared single-handedly for his adored wife in the home they shared in Peterborough.
He is survived by his loving wife, Etta E. Batchelder of Peterborough; his brother, Mac and his wife, Mary Batchelder, of Montville, Conn.; his sister Judy and her husband, Leonard Ebert, of Atlanta, Ga.; sister-in- law Eleanor Batchelder of Palm Coast, Fla.; sister-in-law Joyce Batchelder of Montville, Conn.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ernest and Dolores Corvese of Smithfield, R.I.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Claudia and David Trudeau of Rome, Maine; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
services: Visiting hours will be held Friday, Jan. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Jellison Funeral Home, 25 Concord St., Peterborough. A funeral service will be held Saturday, Jan. 5, at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church, 43 Concord St., Peterborough. Pastor Lourey Savick will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in Dave's name to: The Shriner's Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104; or The Shriner's Hospital for Children Burn Unit-Boston, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114 or Monadnock Community Hospital, 452 Old Street Road, Peterborough 03458 or The Bethel-Souhegan Lodge No. 24, 8 Erin Lane, Jaffrey 03452.
Jellison Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.