Christopher Olin Batchelder, 86, of Rochester died April 16, 2021 at Charter House with his wife, Kay, holding his hand.
Born in Faribault, MN. September 5, 1934, Chris was the seventh of eight children of Edith (Olin) Batchelder and Kelsey Chase Batchelder. Chris and Kay (Klinkerfues) were married September 7, 1957. They were joined by their beloved daughter, Jennifer, in 1964.
Chris graduated from Faribault High School. He received his BA from the University of Minnesota and did post-graduate work in Law and Public Administration. He fulfilled his ROTC obligation serving in the Army Adjutant General Corp as a lieutenant. During the Berlin Crisis, he shared responsibility for mobilizing reserve units in five eastern states. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal upon discharge.
Chris started his career at Mayo Clinic in June of 1963 as an Administrative Assistant. He was later elected to the voting staff and retired from Mayo in 1996.
Chris was highly involved in his church and community in many capacities including: serving as chair of the Jail Study Advisory Board and the Detention Center Planning Committee for Olmsted County, and on the Board of Directors of the MN Citizens Council on Crime and Justice. He served on the Executive Committee of the Rochester Branch of the NAACP, and was chairman of the local advisory committee for Planned Parenthood. He taught 4th grade Sunday school and served as Senior Warden for St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Chris was very proud to have been a mentor to many young people at Mayo and through community/church work.
Chris is survived by his wife of 64 years, Kay, daughter, Jennifer, his brother John, his sisters-in-law Janet Batchelder and Orvella Batchelder and numerous nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
St. Luke's Episcopal Church (Rochester, MN) will hold a funeral service on Saturday, September 11 at 11 AM. Visitation one hour before, and briefly following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated for Mayo Foundation, St. Luke's Episcopal Church or Planned Parenthood.
"I am so so sorry to find out that beloved uncle Chris had passed away. He was a very loving person and would always give a hug when we got together. Gatherings were so fun when the both of you came to Thanksgiving and Easter meals. I?ll miss him especially for his bright and cheerful personality. God bless you both from the Gerber family."
"Uncle Chris was one of the very kindest men I ever knew. I never saw him cross or frustrated, and I always appreciated how he would engage with his nieces and nephews. I think that we all felt like we were one of his favorites. I will miss you, Uncle Chris. Prayers for peace and comfort and the blessings of your memory to all who knew and loved you. "
"A great man with a generous and caring heart. Our little hallway chats always cheered me. There's comfort in knowing he's in Heaven with other St. Luke's Originals. My deepest condolences to Kay and family. Laurie Ivins Leaf"
"Chris was a good man that helped a lot of people in his lifetime. I am sure he touched more lives than you can ever imagine. I met Chris in 1988 when my wife was diagnosed with cancer. He took us under his wing. My son and daughter were only 4 and 7 years old and the time he spent with them has had an impact on their lives forever. I could only hope to contribute a small portion of what Chris did to humanity, and my time is running short. Kay and Jennifer, you have my deepest sympathy. The world lost a good man. We need more like him. Mark Stenson"
"I was fortunate that my dad introduced me to Chris, his Mayo colleague while I was working my Mayo job during my summer breaks, but it was not until I finished school and ready to make my move to California when my dad suggested I go over and meet up with ?Mr. Batchelder? before I left . I somewhat reluctantly did, but thinking that I was forcing myself upon him and he surely had more important things to do. But Chris and I had a really great talk in his office that day where he showed an honest interest in me and my adventures ahead. We agreed to keep in touch, and for the next 35 years we would always correspond and get together for lunch whenever I came back to Rochester and a few great times when he came to Los Angeles.
I would always look forward to what became our annual Christmas lunch get together and it very soon became something I really looked forward to every year as it became a standard part and priority for me of my Christmas break.
Usually going to the restaurant or café we had to traverse various Rochester sidewalks, catwalks or the deepest mayo subway tunnels where we would pass his fellow Mayo workers of every profession and level, patients, and who knows who, seemingly every person in the city. I was always amazed that he seemed to know almost everyone we passed and I could tell by the smiles on their faces he greeted (always by name) that they regarded Chris very highly. I repeatedly witnessed what I consider Chris?s most admirable attribute his sincere and genuine respect and appreciation of everyone he knew.
I have tried to follow in his footsteps the best I can in this respect thanks to Chris as a role model. He would always pick the most appropriate lunch venue and no matter how cold outside I will never forget how I always felt the warmth and good vibrations radiated being radiated from Chris?s presence in contrast to the blizzards outside.
He gave me this plaque after he retired, I believe it was in his office in the Siebens building, I?ve had it on my wall and think of Chris every time I look at it. He was a genuine good and sincere person and I?m so thankful I had the opportunity to have him as my good friend I will never forget him.
"During my early tenure with Mayo?s philanthropy program, Chris checked up on me everyday to ensure my well-being. He provided a list of Mayo?s distinctive services and strategies and personally guided me through them. Chris was an extraordinary navigator and helped me see how the institution worked, with genial insights and enthusiasm. I credit him with sustaining my sense of commitment during a challenging time. My deepest condolences to his family for their loss of this special man.
"One of the greatest impressions Chris made on me was of gentleness. And one of those times was when he made the time to take a pair of newley weds out for lunch to hear of their plans. Kind words, time, and a listening heart were what he shared at that moment and many others. Jim Krom"
"Kay and Jennifer, Chris was a caring and kind man who made a difference throughout his life. I was fortunate to know and work with him at Mayo Rochester. My heart goes out to you in this time of great loss. "
"Rochester has lost a wonderful man."
"Chris was a wonderful mentor to me at Mayo and also graciously provided wisdom guiding me in creating outside flower gardens. He?s likely planting in heaven now?"
"Kay and Jennifer,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Chris was such a dear man and a wonderful neighbor.
The McNary Family"