Ronald Hubert Batchelder

March 13, 1932 ~ July 12, 2018 (age 86)

Ronald Batchelder 86, of Bemidji, MN, died Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

Memorial Services will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 25, 2018 at the First Presbyterian Church of Bemidji with Pastor John Yingling officiating.  Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home.

Ronald Hubert Batchelder was born March 13, 1932 in Bemidji to Ira and Wanda (Hartman) Batchelder. He grew up in Bemidji and graduated from Bemidji High School in 1950.  Ron was active in sports throughout high school.  He earned 11 letters in five sports and participated in two state baseball tournaments and two state basketball tournaments.  Following high school, Ron attended Bemidji State University for one year before joining the United States Air Force.  Ron served in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War, primarily in Upper Heyford, England, working as a cryptographer.  After his service, Ron returned to Bemidji to join his father and brother in the family business, the Bemidji Woolen Mills, where he worked until his retirement.  He loved building the business and enjoyed going to work every day.

Ron was an active member of the community his entire life.  Ron was a long-term member of the Board of Directors of the Northern National Bank and then the Community Advisory Board of Wells Fargo Bank.  Ron was deeply involved in many civic organizations in Bemidji, serving as an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church, life member and past President of the Bemidji Jaycees, past Board member of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Bemidji Curling Club, member of the American Legion, Bemidji Eagles Club and B.P.O. Elks No. 1052.

Ron’s passion for sports as an adult focused on curling, golf and fishing.  He was the winner of many local and state curling bonspiels as well as national senior events.  He loved playing golf with his daughter in Florida, Scotland and Philadelphia.  He enjoyed fishing for walleye on Lake Bemidji and at his cabin on Big Turtle Lake.

Philanthropically, Ron was an active donor to Bemidji State University Foundation, establishing the Ron Batchelder Scholarship Fund to benefit students in financial need studying either business, nursing or economics.  In addition, Ron actively supported the Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji.

He is survived by his daughter, Karen Batchelder of Philadelphia, PA, brother, Ira (Shirley) Batchelder, and sister, Mary Morton of Bemidji, as well as 13 nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Joy Albers.

Memorials may be direct to the Boys and Girls Club of Bemidji.

Online guestbook at

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