In Memoriam: Ray Batchelor

January 8, 2016 1:46 am Published by
The JBFC family is saddened as we mourn the loss of a man who was one of the first people to believe in this mission. My grandfather, Raymond Batchelor, passed away on Saturday, January 2nd.
“Papa,” as he was lovingly referred to by family and friends all over the world, worked his entire career in the oil and gas industry and was a very active supporter of many community organizations.

While many of you know the role that my beloved grandmother, Janada “Mimi” Batchelor, played in inspiring me to start JBFC. The truth of the matter is there would be no JBFC without Papa. He was one of the first supporters and driving forces behind the founding of this organization.
When I first decided that I was going to start a non-profit in 2005, I had just finished high school. I faced many obstacles and a lot of skepticism. I heard time and time again, that I was too young, too naïve, too far out of my depth. 
It was Papa who believed in me from the very beginning. He knew I was following the path that I was meant to be on, and his constant love and support of me and JBFC’s mission to alleviate extreme rural poverty helped create the organization that impacting the lives of more than 400 children and families every day.
When we officially registered as a nonprofit in 2006, Papa helped fund the purchase of our first four acres of land in Kitongo. He helped secure the funds to begin construction of our first building. Because of his support, we were able to accept our first seven residential girls in 2007 and we have never looked back!
This is an extremely poignant time for Papa’s passing, because this year marks our 10-year anniversary. It was 10 years ago that he believed in my vision, 10 years ago we purchased that first piece of land, and 10 years ago we began changing lives in rural Tanzania.

As we look back and reflect on our last ten years of work, I can’t help but be extremely humbled and grateful to the man who helped secure our first plot of land and supported us the entire way. I am so happy that Papa was able to see all of the amazing developments and changes with JBFC over the years and I know he was extremely proud of the work everyone does day in and day out at JBFC.

We will celebrate Ray “Papa” Batchelor’s life and legacy on Monday, January 11th in Tulsa, OK. We will all be a little worse off now that Papa isn’t in our lives. But we know his generosity and kind spirit will live on through all of the lives he has touched half a world away.
In lieu of flowers, the Batchelor Family would appreciate your contribution to JBFC’s Ray Batchelor Memorial Fund, so his memory can do what he did in life, make the world a better place.

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This post was written by Mainsprings