Batalden Martha Theresa (Bjornstad) Batalden, 88, died on July 22, 2002 at the Alice Peck Day Extended Care Facility, Lebanon, New Hampshire. She was a national leader of Lutheran church women, coworker with her husband Abner in overseas international development, and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Born in Duluth, Minnesota to Scandinavian immigrant parents, she was the third of five daughters. She attended the University of Minnesota Duluth, and worked as a dental assistant. In 1939, she married her life partner, Abner Batalden, and raised a family in Minneapolis, MN. While in Minneapolis she was elected president of the Womens Missionary Federation (WMF) of the Lutheran Free Church and southeast Minnesota district president of the American Lutheran Church Women (ALCW). Martha Batalden served with her husband from 1963 to 1976 in Lutheran World Relief development work in Korea, Vietnam, India, and Bangladesh. She continued her volunteer activities at Childrens Hospital in Seoul, the USO in Saigon, and in New Delhi, where she was president of the American Womens Club. After returning from Bangladesh, she traveled and spoke widely on behalf of the work of Lutheran World Relief. Martha and her husband co-authored a book about their experiences abroad, Because You Cared (Mpls., 1992). In 1999, she and her husband moved to Lebanon, NH where they have most recently been residents of Harvest Hill. Mrs. Batalden is survived by her husband, Abner; sons and daughters-in-law, Paul and LaVonne (Lebanon, NH), and Stephen and Sandra (Tempe, AZ); grandchildren, Maren, Sonja (Christian Scharen), Peder (Young Mee Choi), and Karl; and great-grandchildren, Isaiah and Grace Scharen; and two sisters, Else Bjornstad and Elizabeth Luukkonen. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Congregation in the Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, at 1:30 PM on August 24. Memorials in her honor may be given to the Batalden Ethics Fund at Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454, or to Lutheran World Relief, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230.

Published on July 28, 2002

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