Esther Virginia Major Batchelder died Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, at Doylestown Hospital. On Feb. 17, 2013, she would have been 100 years old. She was blessed to live an independent life up to the end.
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Esther was born in a blizzard in Scio, N.Y. and spent most of her life in Williamsburg, moving there in 1942 before coming to Doylestown in 2005. She was a teacher at James Blair and Berkeley schools for 16 years in Williamsburg. She had a bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a master's of education from William & Mary. As a young woman, she ran a preschool and was both a Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader. Esther directed the William & Mary Baptist Student Union, taught Sunday School for 47 years at Williamsburg Baptist Church, and was a costumed guide for Colonial Williamsburg. Her other volunteer activities included the American Red Cross, the Williamsburg Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Virginia Retired Teachers Association (president 1968-73), and the Advisory Council and Executive Board of the Peninsula Agency on Aging. She was a volunteer at the FISH thrift shop, a member of the 4H executive board, and a member of AAUW.
Esther was more than a list of accomplishments. She was fun, intelligent, honest, caring, and loved life and people and the opportunities around her. She never complained, took care of business and was always curious. Esther was there to help, cheer, and support family and friends.
Esther is the widow of William Paul Batchelder and is survived by her two children, Paula Batchelder Young of Doylestown and William Thomas Batchelder of Oakland, Calif. The spouses of her children, her eight grandchildren and their partners, plus her nine great-grandchildren will miss her deeply. She left these words for her friends and family: "Thanks to all. I have had a wonderful visit on this earth. Each of you has given me delight and I thank each of you for being supportive and loving friends. I have loved you all and am sorry I must leave… but leave I must. My best to each of you, Esther."
A memorial service will beheld at 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec.28, at Doylestown United Methodist Church. Refreshments will be served following the service. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Williamsburg Baptist Church, 227 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg VA 23185.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Nov. 30 to Dec. 29, 2012