RAPID CITY, SD—Irene B. Batchelder, 85, passed away Friday, March 8, 2019, peacefully at her home in Rapid City, SD.

Irene was born in Hawarden on May 14, 1933, the youngest of nine children of Margaret (Westegard) and Dan Ronan.

She graduated from Hawarden High School in Hawarden 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, SD for twenty years.

Her civic leadership in Sioux Falls, SD 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, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two children, Lloyd and Mary. Also, two brothers Gene and John Ronan and sisters, Alice Scheifen, Florence Dutton, Margaret McVay, Mary Brown, and Ellen Hurley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to either the Christian Broadcasting Network, 800-700-7000, or the Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home in Rapid City, SD to contribute to funeral expenses.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. today (Thursday, March 14) at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home in Rapid City, SD. Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, March 15, at Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home and burial will follow at the Black Hills National Cemetery.