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James Batchelor

James BatchelorI'll write this this afternoon and send it in the email address that you sent in your letter. I am not too proficient in the modern day technology when it come to the electronic means of communicating today. So we'll see if it gets through. If I punched the correct buttons or keys it should. I have macular degeneration and thankfully have fairly good sight in only one eye so have to check my typing carefully. At least I was able to renew my driver's license. One thing, using the word processor enables me to correct my typing mistakes without erasures or using white out.

I send my greetings to all of you who who were in the CHS class of 1961. Our family enjoyed our four years as I taught in Seward, and it was quite an adjustment to move from a school of some 150 students to teaching at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, a high school of over 1200 students. However we grew into the setting at Milwaukee Lutheran where I remained until my retirement at the end of the 1989-1990 school year.

If I remember correctly Dan, you were in the spring play I directed I believe it was "Old Doc." I remember directing the plays, especially so because it gave me an opportunity to see various students who were totally inexperienced performers develop into actors who were comfortable in portraying whatever roles they might be playing, and while I remember all the various activities which our family enjoyed attending at Concordia High School at Seward, this is what I single out as the entity I hold highest during my four years there: Seeing the growth and development which those in the plays achieved during their involvement in the plays.

Remember all of you before our Saviour's throne of Grace, before which we can daily meet regardless of whatever distances separate us.

James Batchelor

May, 2011

batchelor familyIt has been interesting to read all the information we have received concerning the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Concordia High School class of 1961. It has been very frulfilling to read how the Lord led all of you on so many differents paths as you served in you own individual lives. As you know I received a call to teach at Milwaukee Lutheran High School and taught there until our retirement in 1990. Pearl and I visited the campus at Concordia, Seward a number of times, and would truly like to be present with your group this fall. It is uncertain as to whether we will be able to do this, due to health situations. But rest assured we will be thinking of you then. So we have included a family picture with this email. It is from the celebration of our sixtieth wedding anniverary. The Lord has given us six children and twelve grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Remembering all of you along with all of God's people before our Saviour's Throne of Grace.

James Batchelor



Retirement Years: 1990-2015

Pearl and I decided at our retirement to move to her farm in the Wilton, Muscatine County, Iowa area. It had a very large farm house (thirteen rooms), quite ample space for family gatherings, overnight visit, reunions and the like. (Our home in Milwaukee had become very stressed for room for our growing family as they returned for visits.) Wilton had an active Lutheran congregation and school, Zion by name. Pearl and I had both grown up on Muscatine County farms so we were "at home" living in the rural area. Modern conveniences made rural life much different from its former years. So I kept busy between my "full time - part time" volunteer work at the Lutheran school and church, choir, substitute organist, my usual instrumental groups at church, teaching science in the Lutheran grade school - even had a small Latin class for a group of interested grade school students. My large garden and fruit trees, (I gave most of the produce away) Pearl's active involvement in her painting classes, flowers, embroidering, and church women's groups - all this kept us busy. We both enrolled in a senior citizens writing group and made a significant number of tours and trips throughout the country, visiting our children and their families and in addition returning many times to Milwaukee Lutheran High School and daughter Lydia's family to keep in touch with what had for twenty-six years been such an integral part of our lives. While this above schedule looks formidable it really worked quite well, since we could engage in all this on our own time as we found it available. The above materials is an answer to my Milwaukee friends who sincerely asked, "Just what do you do out there in the corn fields of Iowa, talk to the corn stalks?"

In April of 2014, it became necessary for Pearl and me to move to an assisted living facility here in Wilton. In the moving process it was impossible to bring my class lists from forty-two years of teaching (3500 students), grade books and other related material; it all went into the dumpster. In a few months Pearl had to move to the nursing unit of this facility and on September 26, 2015 the Lord called her home unto Himself. For over sixty-six years our lives had continuously revolved about each other in just about every aspect of those lives; we were daily beggars for and recipients of our Saviour's grace and mercy as we told each other in many ways how very grateful we were that the Lord had brought us together.

On October 10, ten days after Pearl's funeral, our children hosted an open house in observation of my 90th birthday. The open house along with all of this above material leaves me with a host of overwhelming and fulfilling memories - family relatives, friends from long ago to recent ones, former students sending greetings or attending in person, from over sixty years ago, down to those who were in classes I taught part time in my retirement. Thankfully we are all able to meet each one in spirit in our daily devotion to our Saviour's Throne of Grace, and that completes any fellowship.

James Batchelor - March 3, 2016