CHESTER, Vt. – Barbara Jean Smith was born Dec. 28, 1936 in Bellows Falls, Vt., daughter of Carl and Marion (Fair) Blake. Her father Carl was a telegraph operator for the Boston Maine Train. She was born into a large family. Barbara’s eight sisters were Opal and Margaret “Peggy,” Nancy, Linda, Alberta, Betty, Joanna, and Carrie. Barbara also had six brothers Gene, Herold, Clifford, Gerald, Raymond “Christian,” and Carl. She also had many half siblings.
Barbara married Herbert “Bud” Batchelder May 18, 1956, with whom she had three children. He predeceased her. Barbara married later Elmer Smith. He also predeceased her.
Barbara was predeceased by her oldest son Rodney Batchelder of Chester, Vt., who passed two years ago. Rodney married Lyn in 1975 and had four children: Tara, Jenny, Chris, and Jarod.
Barbara is survived by her son Roy Batchelder of Rockingham, Vt. Roy married Carol in 1983 and had two children, June and Nick. Her daughter Rohanda Batchelder, who had not seen her mother in many, many years, had five children: Hailey, Buddy, Ashely, Shaina, and Brittney. Her son Jason Smith of Chester, Vt. and his son Brandon Smith. Jason married January, and they had one son, Jaxon.
Her surviving siblings are Carrie, Linda, Gerald, and Clifford. She also leaves behind many great-grandchildren.
Barbara was a homemaker and devoted mother to her four children. She loved maintaining her flowerbeds and yard work. She enjoyed her career of 50 years as a housekeeper to many properties in the area, only retiring four years ago. Barbara passed along all of her remaining clients to her beloved daughter-in-law January. Barbara enjoyed her retirement as she wanted to, enjoying cocktails on her porch with friends and family.
Barbara enjoyed many hobbies such as playing the piano. She also dabbled in poetry, writing 60 poems. She was also quite crafty and painted 20 ceramic figures. Barbara never limited herself to crafting categories, doing many wood burnings, American flag pins, needlepoint, embroidery, patchwork quilt baby blankets, and many handmade Halloween costumes.
Barbara was a lifelong dedicated member of the Woman’s Auxiliary of American Legion Post 67 in Chester, Vt. She also made her famous Montiverdi Meatballs for many years for the Legion dinners, and worked seasonally decorating inside and outside of the Legion. She was also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary for many years.
She enjoyed frequent shopping trips to the local thrift stores. Her favorites were the Thrifty Attic in Londonderry and the Chester-Andover Thrift Store. Barbara love to decorate for the holidays. She loved to collect Native American memorabilia, Bald Eagle memorabilia, and anything with the American flag.
In her younger years, Barbara was quite active. She loved running, doing aerobics, ice skating, and going out dancing.
Barbara enjoyed spending time with her close family the most. Barbara’s devoted son and daughter-in-law Roy and Carol Batchelder spoke to her or saw her daily. Barbara’s other devoted son and daughter-in-law Jason and January Smith’s routine also revolved around Barbara. Her youngest grandchild Jaxon, saw her every week of the first three years of his life, and is deeply devastated. Barbara specifically had a new toy or toys for him every week. Her loss is sudden and tragic to her family.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday March 28, 2020 from 1-4 p.m. at the American Legion Post 67 in Chester, Vt.