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Obituary for Robert W. Batchelder, PhD

Robert W. Batchelder, PhD passed away January 8,2023.

Bob, “Coach”, “Batch”, “Papa” was born in Brockton, Main 1929. His parents, Anne and Harry A. Batchelder soon moved to West Allis, Wisconsin. Here, he met and married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Jane Beck in 1950. Bob earned a baccalaureate degree in Physical Education and Science from La Crosse State College. He turned down an offer to play for the Green Bay Packers after a stunning performance in the 1951 Cigar Bowl. Instead, Bob pursued a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado and a Doctorate of Education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Bob joined the faculty of La Crosse State (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse) in 1956. He was particularly devoted to the players and fellow coaches in football and basketball. The 1959 team finished a winning season, outscoring their opponents 274-81. Bob also initiated and developed the collegiate wrestling program at La Crosse and coached men’s golf. In 1965, Bob Became a full professor at UW-La Crosse. He was honored to receive the Excellence in Teaching Award. In 1988, he retired as Professor Emeritus.

Bob was a loyal member of the Zor Shrine Temple and Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Madison, WI. He and Bev cherished the friends they made living on Solaris Lane, at the University and within the Churches they attended in Wisconsin, Florida and Wilmington.

Bob was a father figure, a mentor, and a friend to nearly everyone he met. His smile and beautiful blue eyes radiated warmth and joy. He was a counselor with a twinkle. He will be missed by all, even as we know he joins Beverly and Curt in Heaven.

He was predeceased by Beverly, his wife of seventy-two years and son Curt Lane Batchelder.

Survivors include son Craig, grandchildren Zan (Savannah), Aubry (Luis), Bret (Haley) and Austin as well as five great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life for both Robert and Beverly will be held at the University of La Crosse, Cleary Gathering Place on September 9, 2023 at 10:00AM. The family welcomes all to a Reception and Brunch in the Cleary Center, immediately following the service.

The Batchelders are entombed at the Gardens of Peace Mausoleum at Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Robert W. and Beverly J. Batchelder Scholarship for the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, University of La Crosse, Wisconsin. 615 East Avenue North, PO Box 1148, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602-1148.

Online condolences may be offered at this site.