Donald E. Batt, 86

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Donald E. Batt, 86, of Rochester, Minnesota, and formerly of Elkton, Minnesota, died Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, at home.



He was born Donald Strohmann on a farm near Silver Lake, Ayrshre, Iowa, and was raised by his grandmother until he was 8-years-old. At the age of 8, he went to live with the Batt family and took the Batt name. As a child he worked three separate paper routs and attended school in Ayrshre, Iowa, through the ninth grade. Don graduated from Manson, Iowa. After his graduation, he moved to Peterson, Minnesota, where he purchased a farm. In 1951, he was drafted into the Marines and served 17 months in Korea. He was awarded the Accommodation Medal with two bronze stars and combat V, for going above and beyond the call of duty. While in the service he worked as an investigator arresting 275, two of which were North Korean Communist. While in the service he received letters of recognition from General Sheppard – Commandant of the Marine Corp and from President Eisenhower for the millions he saved the U.S. Govt. On June 19, 1954, he was united in marriage to Marian Schopfer in St. Louis, Missouri. Together they had five children: Paul, Rodney, Dale, Susan and Tracy. Don and Marian started farming together in 1955. They later purchased a farm near LeRoy, Minnesota, and farmed there for many years. Don was named district farmer of the year in 1972-1973. While farming, Don worked part time doing Hail Adjusting and Crop Hail Management. In 1987, he quit farming and allowed his boys to take over the farm.

Don took over the Des Moines Branch office for Crop Management and controlled five states. He was branch manager for five years. In 1988, Don and Marian were divorced. In 1990, he was united in marriage to Joyce Cowan in La Shone, Washington. In 1991, they moved to Dexter, Minnesota, where he continued to work as a crop adjuster for RCIS. He retired in March of 2013 after 40 years with the company. After Joyce passed away, Don met and lived with Cora Day of Rochester from 2000 until his death.

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Don was a member of the Grand Meadow American Legion for 50 years, serving as its commander in 1970. He served 15 years on the LeRoy Township Board, served on the LeRoy and Ostrander Elevator boards, served two terms on the St. John’s Church Council and one term on the cemetery board. He also served on the advisory committee for Farm Credit and enjoyed spending time in his wood shop.

He is survived by partner Cora Day of Rochester; children: Paul Batt of Grand Meadow, Rodney (Jean) Batt of Dickenson, North Dakota, Susan Batt of Rochester and Tracy Batt of Cass Lake, Minnesota; step-children: Scott and Reed, both of California, and Mary of Texas; five grandchildren: Tom, Chris, Maria, Mike and Alicia; four step-grandchildren: Tara, Eve, Jane and Katrina; 10 step-great-grandchildren and a half sister Mary.

He was preceded in death by his wife Joyce; son Dale; daughter-in-law Connie; half-brothers: Robert, Justin, Roger and Steve; and half-sisters: Carolyn and Ada.

Funeral services for Donald Batt are set for 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at St John’s Lutheran Church in Elkton, Minnesota, with the Rev. Liz Erickson officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1:30 p.m. until time of service at the church. Condolences may be left at