Regina (Jean) M. Batcha
Born to eternal life November 21. 2019
Our mother was a profoundly good woman.
She was selfless, patient, and kind. Mom had a full and adventure filled life. She accomplished everything on her bucket list.
Born and raised in Struthers, Ohio, she is the youngest daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Palatas. She graduated as valedictorian of her Ursline High School graduating class. Mom went on to earn dual bachelors degrees in English and Business Education, both summa cum laude, as well as a masters degree in Education from Youngstown State University (YSU).
It was at YSU that she met Leonard Batcha, a 6’6” basketball player. Jean noticed Len in the school library and asked Len if he could reach a book for her from a very high shelf. Two years later they were married. They spent 53 wonderful years together. Jean and Len had 4 daughters, 3 collie dogs, 2 bunny rabbits, and 1 Muchka (cat in Slovak).
Mom was very proud of her Slovak heritage. She was a skilled Slovak cook. Holupki, lekvar, chrusciki, and her specialty, kolachi - nut, apricot, and poppy seed. Her kolachi was a requested favorite at family gatherings.
Mom’s passion was teaching as she loved helping others. She treasured every minute of her 47 year teaching career. Mom started teaching English and Business Education at East High School. In the late 1960s, she accepted the position of Cooperative Office Education (COE) Coordinator/Teacher at Warren Western Reserve (WWR) High School . She held that position for the next 20 years.
After retiring from WWR, she became a Professor of Business and Computer technology at Kent State University. Mom taught another 13 years at Kent State.
Over the course of her teaching career she was named a Jennings Scholar, Warren Teacher of the year in 1982, Ohio State Educator of the Year in 1986, and Teacher of the year at Kent State University in 2000. Mom retired again in 2003.
One of her favorite things to do in retirement was to create special birthday and greeting cards. Some were pages long. Each was customized for family or friends and included pictures, crossword puzzles she created, little poems she wrote, and fun facts appropriate to the person and occasion. They are keepsakes. She spent hours getting each card just perfect.
Mom was adventurous and curious – always eager to learn new things and explore the world. She traveled to all 50 states and to 6 continents. She cracked open a watermelon on a big rock in the Rocky Mountains, (something she wanted to do since she was a kid), she had an audience with the Pope , met the Queen, dove the Great Barrier Reef, and cruised through the Panama Canal.
Mom loved Sinatra, Lawrence Welk, twirling the baton, Handel’s chocolate pecan ice cream, making lists, and PT with Dr. Joe.
Mom and dad both instilled in their daughters a deep faith, and a desire to learn, understand, and appreciate their Catholic faith. Mom and dad lived the words of Saint Francis, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
Mom had a life-long and beautiful devotion to the Blessed Mother. She died on the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. We will especially think of her when we hear the hymn Hail Holy Queen.
We love our mom so much and we miss her terribly. We are blessed to have her as our mother, mom, teacher, mentor, and our biggest cheerleader.
Mom received the Apostolic Blessing. A Requiem Mass was held at Queen of the Holy Rosary church in Vienna. She is buried next to dad in All Souls Cemetery.
In memory of Jean, please offer your favorite prayer for the repose of her soul, and perform a random act of kindness in her memory. She would love this and she would smile her bright, beautiful smile and say “that is just wonderful, thank you.”