David W. Batchelder

Salisbury, Conn. — David W. Batchelder, 85, a legendary editorial force in Dartmouth College alumni affairs, died in hospital Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, following a severe stroke.

A memorial service will be held in Salisbury at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15 at the Congregational Church of Salisbury.

David grew up in Salisbury, attended the Kimball Union Academy in Meridan, N.H. and then enrolled at Dartmouth, graduating with the Class of 1951.

From commencement on he was among the most loyal of Dartmouth alumni, particularly so to his classmates, who dubbed him “Batch.” In 1988, they presented him with the “Spirit of ‘51” Award, reserved for most outstanding class members. The citation read, “Like your father, an earlier Batch in the Class of 1919, you give Dartmouth and your class more than a full measure of your time and talents: Campaign For Dartmouth Leadership Committee, Alumni Fund Agent, Alumni Interviewer, and most importantly for us, Class Newsletter Editor since 1981.”

He continued as the sagely laconic editor of that newsletter – FIFTY-ONE FABLES – producing several hundred issues over 32 years, as it became widely admired even among Dartmouth administrators and multitudes of class officers and rank-and-file alumni far beyond the Class of 1951. At the annual meetings of Dartmouth class officers, he received the “Newsletter Editor of the Year Award in 1991 and again in 2001.

Shortly after ill health forced David to give up the newsletter post in 2013, the Dartmouth Class Newsletters Association established a “Lifetime Achievement Award As Class Newsletter Editor”, and David Batchelder was virtually the unanimous choice of his fellow alumni editors to become its first recipient. The citation read “You have shown the same eager devotion to your Class and to the College you have to your career and family......The quantity of this oeuvre is, impressively, eclipsed by its quality…..and you did it all without the aid of a fancy graphic design program but with good old fashioned paper, scissors and glue – the original “cut-and-paste.”

In his professional life, David was a farmer, later a home-builder and finally a farm equipment merchant. At the age of 15 he came under the influence of family friends who farmed. After Dartmouth graduation he spent a year at Cornell Agricultural College and then purchased a farm near Stowe, Vt. Two years later he won the Vermont Green Pastures Award, as the state’s outstanding farmer of the year.

In 1969, he moved back to Salisbury and established his own home-building company, personally designing intricate detail and providing superior craftsmanship with his own hands. Subsequently he joined a local tractor and heavy equipment firm, reorganizing the sales department and befriending many of his customers.

David is survived by “co-vivant” Schatzi Ludwig of Salisbury; son, David Batchelder of Seattle, Wash. and daughter, Anne Keable of Burlington, Vt.; as well as four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made payable to “Dartmouth Class of 1951 Scholarship Fund,” c/o Henry Nachman, 14 Dunster Drive, Hanover, NH. 03755.