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George H Batchelder, 89

George H. Batchelder of Santa Rosa, CA, died October 7 after a long battle with cancer. He was 89.

George H Batchelder, 89
George H Batchelder Contributed photo

George was born on June 16, 1931 and raised in Berkeley, California. He spent his early years boating and fishing on the San Francisco Bay with his family.

He received his BS in Chemistry from UC Berkeley. Several years later he met Laurie, his wife of 60 years. After serving in the Army in Korea, he joined Stauffer Chemical Company in Richmond, CA as a research chemist. George worked for Stauffer his entire career. He relocated the family to Westport, CT in 1967 for a new position and ended his successful career as the company’s Employee Compensation and Benefits Director.

In CT, George and Laurie settled into a life focused on raising their family. He was a dedicated and devoted husband and father and an active member of the United Methodist Church of Westport. George also enjoyed sailing and instilled his enthusiasm for being on the water with the entire family. He never lost his love of sailing, maintaining his own sailboat well past his 80th birthday.

After retirement, he and Laurie returned to California, settling in Santa Rosa in 1994. George dedicated much time and energy to many charitable endeavors serving as an active board member of the local NAMI-SC chapter for about 14 years, as the Secretary of the Santa Rosa East Rotary for the better part of 20 years, and as a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa.

He enjoyed travel throughout his life, driving the family across the US multiple times, organizing trips to many National Parks, and skiing with the family. His family will tell you that one of his mottos was, “leave the place better than you found it.” In retirement he and Laurie explored more of the US and Europe, including elder hostel bicycle tours. His love of the outdoors, patient temperament, and observant nature lead him to become an avid birder, a hobby he shared with his siblings. Early in life George mastered traditional silk-screening techniques which resulted in many years of lovingly handcrafted Christmas cards. He also spent a bit of time with paints, creating landscapes as well colorful paintings for his children’s bedrooms. George will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his wife Laurie, son Glenn (Candace), daughter Linda, son Keith (Danielle), son David, and grandson Aiden. He is also survived by his siblings Paul (Paddy), Jim (Wynn), Ann Graf (Phil), John (Janice).

In lieu of flowers the family kindly suggests gifts in George’s memory to the Santa Rosa East Rotary www.santarosaeastrotary.org or the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa Foundation (UMFSR) www.fumcsantarosa.org.

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