Margaret Teresa “Teri” Batchelor died July 14, 2020 after a battle with cancer. She was 63. Born on September 9, 1956 to Clovas W. and M. Margaret Dickerson, she was raised on Baker Farm at her family’s homestead near Fairlee.
A Kent County native, she was an early graduate of the newly opened Kent County High School in Worton.
Batchelor graduated from West Virginia University in 1978 with a BS in Forest Resource Management. She returned to Kent County and married Ted Batchelor.
She worked for decades as DNR State Forester for Kent and Queen Anne’s County until her death. Teri established a strong relationship with landowners engaged in forestry conservation and with generations of Kent County school children learning about conservation and forestry’s role in the environment.
“We worked together for 33 years,” said Karen Miller, Kent Soil Conservation District Director. “She was so dedicated to Kent County.”
Miller recalled Batchelor’s commitment to education.
“We presented outdoor education programs together for many years,” Miller said. “We led education programs for every fourth grade class in Kent County public schools until the budget cuts of the early 2000s.”
Miller recalled the years that Teri led the Arbor Day Poster contest open to school-aged kids in Kent County and she promoted the artwork around the county. Batchelor was also a force behind the start of the annual Envirothon at Kent County High School.
Another annual event that Batchelor enjoyed and promoted was the hanging of the holiday wreath at the Kent County Office Building at 400 High Street.
Teri and Ted eventually moved to the Baker Farm. They started planting Christmas trees in 2009 and in 2018 opened up their retail operation.
“It was always a dream of hers to have a Christmas tree farm,” Miller said.
Miller reminisced about Batchelor’s quilting hobby she picked up over the past decade.
“She was a good quilter,” Miller said. “We would go away on quilting retreats and sew all day long and into the night.”
Batchelor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2019. She had not formally retired from the forest service at the time of her death.
“She will be missed greatly,” Miller said. “I don’t think we will ever appreciate just how much she did behind the scenes.”
Batchelor is survived by her husband, Ted, and their son, Clay, his wife Lauren, and two grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Debbie Radke of Timonium, nieces and a nephew.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, July 20 at 1:00 PM at Fellows, Helfenbein, and Newnam Funeral Home at 130 Speer Road Chestertown. Relatives and friends may call from 11:00-1:00. The funeral service will be webcast live. Interment will be held in St. Paul’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Research.