Ira Batchelder


Ira (Batch/Sonny) Batchelder 92, of Bemidji, MN passed away peacefully at his home on December 20, 2020.

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, December 26, 2020 at 11:00 am at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Bemidji. Recitation of the Rosary will begin at 9:30 am followed by the visitation at 10:00 am, also at St Philip’s on December 26, 2020. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery immediately following the funeral mass.

Ira John Batchelder was born in Bemidji, MN to Ira Hubert and Wanda Susanna (Hartman) Batchelder on April 9, 1928 at his grandparents’ home. He grew up in Bemidji and graduated from Bemidji High School. His favorite childhood memories were the summers he spent at his Grandpa Hartman’s farm in Kelliher, MN. Batch joined his father and brother in the family business, the Bemidji Woolen Mills, where he worked until his retirement. He proudly served in the US Air Force and Minnesota National Guard. On February 11, 1956 he was united in marriage with Shirley Marcks.

Throughout his life Batch was active in the community, including the Bemidji Jaycees, the American Legion, the VFW, the Northland Regional Shooting Sports Park, and the Beltrami County Community Guard. He enjoyed, hunting, fishing, golfing, canoe racing, cross-country ski racing, bike racing, running marathons, competitive shooting, and best of all, traveling the world with Shirley. During retirement he and Shirley spent winters in Florida and Arizona. He made many wonderful friends along the way. His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy.

Fun facts about Batch include that he recorded the coldest temperature ever in Bemidji, -50 F January 30, 1950 (he had a job at the airport recording temperature on the night shift) and he owned a sheep farm in Turtle River that eventually became the Concordia Language Village.

Batch was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ron Batchelder, sister Joy Albers, brother in-law Darold Albers, brother in-law Dick Morton, and granddaughter Chelsea Batchelder. He is survived by his devoted wife Shirley, children Margaret Batchelder, Ira (Sandy) Batchelder, Wanda (Mark) Dickinson, Bill Batchelder, Bob Batchelder, Kati Batchelder, daughter in-law Jill Ashline, grandchildren Jenna (Derek) Brandt, Kyle (Kate) Batchelder, Sam Batchelder, Sarah Batchelder, Johannah Batchelder, Danny Dickinson, Michael Dickinson, great-granddaughter Cecilia Brown, great-grandson Colton Batchelder, sister Mary Morton, step-mother Eddie Batchelder, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family wants to say thank-you to Dr. Rod Will and his nurse Jane, and a very big special thank-you to Cindy Hockenson for her kind and compassionate care these past several weeks.

Memorials are preferred to St. Philip’s Catholic School or the Northland Regional Shooting Sports Park.

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