June 30, 2015. BOONE, NC — In the late morning of June 25, 2015, Jim Batchelor passed away peacefully of natural causes at Life Care Center in Banner Elk, NC. Mr. Batchelor was 90 years old, having lived a full life with many friends and a loving family.
Jim Batchelor was born in Toronto, Canada on October 25, 1924. He was the first born of Jemima and Colin Brown Batchelor, Sr., of Dundee, Scotland.
Jim was taken back to Scotland shortly after birth where he spent the beginning of his childhood and then was taken to Michigan where he became a U.S. citizen at 13 years old.
He attended Roosevelt High School in Keego Harbor, Michigan, where he excelled in school and in sports, particularly baseball, basketball and football. Jim was captain of the Keego Harbor varsity football team and coached by Mr. Bob Devaney, who later went on to a Hall of Fame coaching career at the University of Wyoming and the University of Nebraska.
When World War II broke out, Batchelor joined the Army to fight for our country and to protect its freedoms. After landing on Omaha Beach during the Normandy Invasion, Batchelor fought with the 2nd Armored Infantry Division, marching across France and Germany with the 3rd Army in the rapid armored drive to take Berlin and end the war.
After the war, Jim worked for Detroit Creamery delivering milk, then owned and operated the Batchelor Market in Keego Harbor, Michigan until changing occupations and getting into the insurance business. He served as a district manager for Metropolitan Insurance Company until retirement, then moved to Bonita Springs, Florida. He was a founder of Citrus Park Softball League, which is still the home base for one of Florida’s most respected softball competitions with more than 300 players. He lived with his wife, Marguerite, between Florida and Lake City, Michigan for 25 years.
Jim Batchelor is well known nationwide for his almost 80 years of softball involvement that only ended because of health challenges at the age of 88. Jim resided in Boone, NC, for the past two years with his son, Brad, who cared for him for most that time until his passing. He spent several weeks at Blowing Rock Extended Care in Blowing Rock, NC, before being transferred to Life Care Center for the remainder of his days.
Jim is survived by his wife Marguerite; son Dr. Brad Batchelor of Boone, N.C., Brad’s wife Marina, and Jim’s granddaughter, Asha, age 6; and son Dr. Dan Batchelor of Roswell, Georgia. Also surviving are his three sisters, Mary Winters of Orchard Lake, Michigan and family; Betty Howell and family of Orchard Lake, Michigan; and Jean Golding and family of Waterford, Michigan.
A service will be held near Flint, Michigan August 29th, 2015, details yet to be determined.
Special Thanks to the Nurses, Physicians, Therapists and Technicians of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). The healthcare leader in the High Country, is comprised of two hospitals – Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville and Watauga Medical Center in Boone – Appalachian Regional Medical Associates (ARMA) – the Blowing Rock Rehabilitation & Extended Care Center in Blowing Rock, Watauga Surgical Group, Watauga Internal Medicine, Watauga Cardiology, Life Care Center of Banner Elk, Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation, Boone Drug at Deerfield, and Watauga Medics of Boone.
Blowing Rock News interviewed Mr. Batchelor shortly before his death, the story published on May 16, 2015: