RAPID CITY | Irene B. Batchelder, 85, passed away on Friday, March 8, 2019, peacefully at her home in Rapid City. Irene was born May 14, 1933, in Hawarden, IA, the youngest of nine children of Margaret (Westegard) and Dan Ronan.
She graduated from Hawarden High School in 1950, being both the prom queen and valedictorian of her class that year. It was there that she met the love of her life, Lloyd Batchelder. They were united in marriage August 13, 1952, in Luverne, MN.
Irene was a dynamic business woman, entrepreneur and sales leader. She owned/managed several businesses with her husband. She operated several restaurants early in her career and then was involved in Real Estate sales, apartment management and an Advertising Executive for several large newspapers including the Argus Leader and Rapid City Journal. Irene was most known for being the editor and publisher of the Sioux Falls, Host Magazine which promoted Sioux Falls for 20 years.
Her civic leadership in Sioux Falls included her involvement in Downtown Mainstreet which led to supporting the regeneration of downtown Sioux Falls and inspired and planned the first "Parade of Lights: for the community. She received a proclamation from the Governor of South Dakota for distinguished sales and marketing achievement. She received a Women of Excellence award from the Women Aware organization.
Most notably, Irene was a very caring person. She was a loving wife of 66 years. She was a wonderful mother, gentle grandmother and great-grandmother, devoted to her entire family. She is survived by her husband, Lloyd; three children, Susan Briese, Steven Batchelder, Sharyl Ronan; her sister, Kathleen Tomjack; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by two children, Lloyd and Mary; two brothers, Gene and John Ronan; and sisters, Alice Scheifen, Florence Dutton, Margaret McVay, Mary Brown, and Ellen Hurley.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday March 15, at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either the Christian Broadcasting Network, 800-700-7000, or Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home to contribute to funeral expenses.
Condolences may be conveyed to the family through the funeral home website.