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Ronald Batchelor

January 14, 1930 ~ September 26, 2017

Service: October 21, 2017 2:00 PM
   Location: Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel

Ronald Frank Batchelor, 87, of Bozeman, MT, passed away on Sept. 26, 2017, at home with family members holding his hands.

Ron was born in San Francisco, CA, on Jan. 14, 1930, to Millard and Mildred Batchelor. Ron grew up in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA. At 16, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service and traveled to East Asia. Deciding that being a sailor was not his calling, he returned home to finish high school. His beloved Uncle Tom instilled in him a keen appreciation for nature. He graduated from Humboldt State College with a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology in 1954 and went on to complete his Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology at Oregon State University in 1957.

He started his career with the U.S. Forest Service in Pendleton, OR, where he met the love of his life, Elsie Schutte, on a blind date. They wed on Oct. 11, 1958. Their twins Carol “Kitty” and Mark were born in Pendleton. In 1960, Ron accepted a position with the Alaska Fish and Game Department moving his young family to Kodiak, Alaska. In Kodiak, their son, Randal, and daughter, Jana, were born. The family transferred to Palmer, AK, in 1963. In Alaska, Ron focused on big game management and fisheries including brown bear, elk, moose, caribou and rainbow trout. The Batchelor family adventures continued when Ron returned to Federal Service in 1965, after accepting a wildlife biologist position with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service in Phoenix, AZ. In 1971, the family moved to Bozeman when Ron became the State Biologist for the SCS. In the SCS, Ron focused primarily on riparian and wetland ecosystems. Ron retired in 1990.

Ron was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; and his sister, Lynne. He is survived by his brother, Barry (Placerville, CA); daughter, Kitty Leu (Mitchell) of Kalispell; son, Mark of Worcester, MA; son, Randal (Miwa) of Tazewell, TN; and daughter, Jana Pursell (William) of Kalispell. Ron’s joy was spending time with family including his eight granddaughters, Kearstyn, Katie, Kelsie, Alisa, Erica, Jennifer, Natalie, Melissa; and great-grandson, Samuel.  

Ron conveyed a love of nature and compassion for mankind to those around him. Over the years Ron devoted his energies to the Southwest MT Chapter of the Red Cross, Bozeman United Way, Sacajawea Audubon Society, Haven Women’s Shelter, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Alzheimer’s Support and the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. Ron was a lifelong learner who loved to laugh and share with others. He will be missed greatly.

A celebration of his life is planned for Saturday, October 21st at 2:00 pm at Dokken-Nelson with a reception following at Grand Avenue Christian Church.  Memorials are suggested for the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, P.O. Box 7021, Bozeman, MT 59771 or Haven of Bozeman, P.O. Box 752, Bozeman, MT 59771.

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