Cover photo for David Lee Batchelor's Obituary
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David Lee Batchelor

January 7, 1940 — February 28, 2023

David Lee Batchelor

David Lee Batchelor left this earth on February 28, 2023 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was 83 years old.

David was born January 7, 1940 in Monahans, Texas to Oliver Lee Batchelor and Clara Mae Lewis. He had 7 siblings, 5 brothers and 2 sisters, and he was right in the middle.

Dave grew up in Kermit, Texas and graduated in 1958 from Kermit High School. He was class president, in the school band, and a star athlete, running track, and playing baseball and football. He enjoyed competition and was well liked.

When a young woman named Carlene moved to his town, Dave found her to be beautiful and different from any other girls he knew. They dated on and off throughout high school and on November 1, 1959, Dave and Carlene were married in the First Baptist Church in Three Rivers, Texas. Their love grew with the birth of their first child, a daughter, Karen Lynn, in August of 1960 and then again with their son David Lee, born in November of 1961.

In 1960 Dave joined the Air Force and served 4 years, stationed at Ellsworth Air Force base in South Dakota working with pressure suits and the altitude chamber. After his time in the Air Force, Dave put his Air Force training to use with the David Clark Company (contracted by the US Government) working with the pressure suits and life support systems that high altitude pilots used. While at David Clark, Dave had the unique and exciting opportunity to be directly involved with the young space program, working with spacesuits for the Mercury and Gemini programs at the Houston Space Center and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Bellflower, CA.

He was then transferred to Edwards Air Force Base in 1966 and settled with his family in Lancaster, CA. While there, he participated in top secret flight programs such as the X-15, SR71 and Lifting Body programs while working with elite pilots and astronauts. Dave had some of the most exciting and amazing stories to share from this bygone era and was an incredible story teller. He could pull you right into the moment as he spoke, and his humor, detailed accounts and reflection always enriched the stories he told with such vibrance you thought you were there with him on a training session with Michael Collins, or in the cockpit with Neil Armstrong.

Eventually, Dave moved over to sales within the communications department at David Clark and moved to Dallas, TX in the mid 70’s. After experiencing success in sales he decided to try his hand in the Medical Supply sales industry where he enjoyed a very successful career with various companies until his retirement in 2008.

Dave loved life and that love was evident in the many adventures he welcomed, the risks he took, the mistakes he made, the hobbies that brought him joy and the many, many people he loved and was loved by in return. He found joy in simple things such as grilling, golfing, playing cards, and watching the Dallas Cowboys.

In the late 2000’s he and Carlene left their beloved Texas to retire in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. They were attracted to the Village’s beautiful scenery and the many golf courses. They were very involved in the retirement community, playing bridge and making friends wherever they went. They bought a charming house in the woods, where they enjoyed their sunset years, and on many occasions they hosted family and friends with such enthusiasm and delight it felt like vacation instead of visiting family. Some nights went long with storytelling, games of Aww Hell or rummy. Dave loved to win, but was more interested in teaching and playing with those around the table. Their back deck was especially lovely and was the stage for some of the most beautiful evenings where we drank his mean margaritas and basked in the easiness and pleasantness of their company. He often referred to it as God’s healing room. Dave and Carlene took a lot of pride in their home, their family, their grandkids and they shared love and laughter freely.

Dave was very intelligent, wise and always eager to listen. He was thoughtful in his interactions and took care to only say what he meant. He loved meaningful conversations and enjoyed learning about people. He asked a lot of questions, encouraged those around him and had a special ability to make you feel loved just by being in his presence. His relaxed personality, paired with gentleness, curiosity and humor made knowing him a true gift and the ways he impacted lives of those around him will not be forgotten. The love he nurtured in each of us will nurture those we come into contact with, and that way, while you are gone from us, we carry what you gave us forward.

Dave went on before his beautiful wife Carlene, his daughter and son in law, Karen & Wil Greene, his son David Batchelor, his 5 grandsons and their wives; John & Emily Osburn, Brian Batchelor, Brandon Batchelor, Cody Batchelor, Shane & Molly Batchelor, his great grandchildren, Harper, Phinehas, Evangeline, Canon, Ember, Roman, Le Le and Siena, his siblings; Dorothy Peterson, Ken Batchelor, Mike Batchelor, his “Cuz” Jo Johnston. Before him went his parents, Oliver and Claire Batchelor, his siblings Claude, Oliver and Terry Batchelor, his daughter in law, Denise Batchelor, and his “Cuz” Kelly Gist.

Dave lived much longer with COPD than any doctor said he would. He didn’t ever let his diagnosis steal his love of life and joy of living. When time was short, he was at peace with dying, but still very grateful for every day of life. His motto was “life is good.” We envision you, wherever you are now, breathing deep, laughing and golfing on the greenest course imaginable. Until we see you again, we promise we’ll all play nice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Lee Batchelor, please visit our flower store.


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