Washington column for April 17

A wonderful lady

The whole community was saddened to hear that Jane Hobkirk Batchelder passed away at her home in Little Washington on April 1. Jane and her husband, Roger, who passed in 2005, were Rappahannock residents for more than 40 years.

Roger and Jane Batchelder
Roger and Jane Batchelder Courtesy photo

She attended The State University of New York at Potsdam and later received her masters from George Washington University as a reading specialist. She built her career on helping children read and instilling in them an appreciation and passion for education.

Roger and Jane raised their family outside of Alexandria, in Hollin Hills, a modern, award-winning community based on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. They were founding members of the Unitarian Church in Alexandria and participated in everything Washington, D.C. had to offer.

They had three wonderful children: Rand Batchelder of Pittsburgh, Penn.; Susan Batchelder Wise of Durango, Colo.; and David Batchelder of Little Washington. For most of their Rappahannock years they lived in a hilltop house off of South Poes Road. Their son David designed and built their home in the big city of Little Washington in 2005. A beautiful home indeed.

Jane was an active member of the Rappahannock County Garden Club and an avid reader who loved to paint. She was a generous and compassionate woman who took an active interest in the lives of all the people she knew and her family adored her. There will be a memorial service on Massie Mountain, outside of Little Washington, later in the spring.

Jane will be missed by so many people. We will never forget you, and we know that your spirit will always be with us. They were two wonderful people; I was honored to know them both.

Dinner at Huntly Studio

On Sunday, April 13, two Washington residents, Judy deSarno and Ruthie Windsor-Mann, were entertained at an al fresco dinner at Huntly Studio, the home of Ruth Anna and Ronald Stolk. The nearly full moon presided over the festive occasion, which was made even more delightful by the candlelight and the international flavor.

Only three of the 10 happy diners were born in the United States. Huntly’s Jennifer Manley, originally from England, brought her sister-in-law from Scotland and Ronald Stolk, the world-renowned organist originally from the Netherlands, introduced his brother and family from the Netherlands. Rappahannock resident, artist and Netherlands-born Rosabel Goodman-Everard rounded out the captivating group.

Sunrise service

The sunrise service for Trinity Episcopal Church begins at 6:15 a.m. this Sunday (April 20) on Massie’s Mountain. Simply follow the directions on Harris Hollow Road as you turn left at the Health Department off Main Street in Washington. (There is also a print out located right inside the red doors of Trinity.)

This year Trinity is also celebrating the Flowering of the Easter Cross at all of its services. Everyone has been asked to bring fresh-cut flowers to adorn the new cross donated by Kathy Tibbetts. Those who arrive with flowers are to insert the flower stems into the wire frame, which will be located near the red front doors.

Book Barn

With the economy like it is and people trying to save money — and specifically for those who enjoy reading and don’t want to put lots of money into buying books — stop by the Book Barn next to the library and check out the fine selection of books to buy. It is open from 9 to 3 every Saturday. You cannot find a better deal than they have on their books. That’s where I buy all my books! I even got my daughter hooked on their selections.

Save the dates

Mark your calendar for the Fodderstack 10K race next Saturday (April 26) at 9 a.m. This is one of Rappahannock County’s most hallowed traditions each year. Before you run, stop by Grandma’s Attic yard sale at Washington Baptist Church at 8. There will be dishes, linens, books and much more.


The community would like to welcome Joe Whited, who lives on 4 Skyline Ln. in Washington. Welcome to our town, Joe!

Birthday wishes

Belated birthday wishes go out to Zachary Huff, who celebrated on April 2, and to Sean Michael Knick, who celebrated his special day on Monday (April 14).


Let’s remember Lorraine Sisk, Johnny Johnson, Lorraine Early and Charles Jenkins in our prayers. They have been under the weather.

Easter holiday

Peter Cottontail doesn’t have to tell us Easter activities are upon us. The signs are everywhere, from warmer weather to pre-dyed eggs at the supermarket, Lenten silhouettes and spring flowers along the road. There are several local events to make this Easter memorable, including a Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s all-you-can-eat breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. on Saturday (April 19). Be sure to bring your cameras and get a snapshot with the Easter Bunny for family photos. After breakfast there will be an Easter egg hunt for kids 12 and younger. Each child will receive a helmet with candy. For more information, call 540-675-3615.

Happy Easter!