Audrey Elizabeth Matherne "MeMa" Batchelor

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  • "Liz, Bonnie and family, It has been a long time since I saw..."
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Audrey Elizabeth Matherne Batchelor better known as "MeMa" to her granddaughter and her friends died Saturday, April 12 at 5:56 at Sunrise Assisted Living after an protracted battle with Alzheimer's She was born August 23, 1922 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Clarence Armand Matherne, Sr. and Elizabeth Champagne Matherne at what was then their brand new home on South 21st Street. She was a Dufrocq Duck at Dufrocq Elementary School and attended Baton Rouge Junior High School and Baton Rouge High. After a brief stint at LSU where she also worked in the purchasing department, she went to work with the Army Corps of Engineers when World War II broke out. She was offered a job at what was then Standard Oil Company. She and her father, though in different departments, both worked in highly classified jobs. Though she didn't know it at the time, she typed the purchase invoices for supplies that would be used in the heavy water experiments that were being conducted at Standard Oil for the military. These efforts contributed to the eventual development of the atomic bomb that brought about the end of World War II. While at Standard Oil, she met the love of her life Aylmer Price Batchelor, Jr. at a military maids dance at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. He would follow her and her mother up and down Third Street in his Army jeep. He proposed to her at the Heidelberg Hotel. They were married for 41 years. Audrey loved to cook and garden. In the days before caterers were commonplace, she would often entertain cooking all the food herself and use the flowers from her own garden as decoration. She was active in many organizations beginning with the Queen's Workers St. John Berchmans in Shreveport. After returning to Baton Rouge, she was a member of the first Delphinians Group in Baton Rouge. She was also a "pink lady" with the Our Lady of the Lake Hospital Auxiliary where she worked in the gift shop. She and several friends formed a bridge group that would meet for over 50 years, and she was a member and president of the Louisiana Engineering Society Auxiliary. Other memberships included Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae, Baton Rouge High Alumni Association, Baton Rouge Eye Bank Auxiliary, Baton Rouge Opera Guild, Baton Rouge Art League and the Krewe of Iduna. In later years she became a Friend of Saint Joseph's Academy and the 1868 Society, a Friend of St. Joseph's Cathedral where she accompanied Fr. Frank Uter on his 1991 tour to France and Spain. In later years, she was active in the Military Officers Retired Association. She was a member of Catholic Daughters at Our Lady of Mercy Church where she has been a member since 1959. Until her illness developed, she dearly loved cooking spaghetti for her granddaughter Bonnie and her friends, first from Saint's Joseph's Academy and then from Zeta Tau Alpha and LSU. She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Ann (Liz) Batchelor McKowen and her husband Thomas Chalmers (Tom) McKowen, IV; a granddaughter whom she adored, Bonnie Elizabeth McKowen Rader and her husband Aaron Travis Rader; and a great grandson, Austin Thomas Rader who would have been the apple of her eye had not the disease robbed her of the ability to know him; her sister-in-law and dearest friend Juanita Mae Wyndam Matherne, and sisters-in-law Jean Westmoreland Matherne, and Melba Dieudonne Matherne, Slidell, her wonderful friend and caregiver for over 30 years, Carolyn Ann Cain, three nieces, two nephews, three great nieces, three great nephews, and numerous great-great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Aylmer Price Batchelor, Jr.; parents whom she cherished Clarence Armand Matherne, Sr. and Elizabeth Champagne Matherne, brothers Clarence Armand Matherne, Jr., Russell Adam Matherne, and Harold Charles Matherne. Visitation will be held Tuesday, April 15 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church 445 Marquette Avenue Baton Rouge, LA from 1:00 p.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 2:30 pm. Pallbearers will be Tom McKowen, Aaron Rader, Robert Winkler, Joe McKowen, Brent Salter, and Ken Williams. Honorary pallbearer will be Austin Thomas Rader. The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Regina Hatcher and the entire staff of Sunrise Assisted Living who have cared for Audrey for the past eight years and to the staff of Clarity Hospice who have cared for her since 2009. We only wish you could have known her when she was not so ill. Your unflagging service and dedication has brought joy and peace to our lives under the most trying of circumstances. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Joseph's Academy 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808 or to one of the many worthy organizations dedicated to Alzheimer's Research, or a charity which raises money and awareness for a disease which has affected you or your family.
Funeral Home
Rabenhorst Funeral Homes Downtown
825 Government Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 383-6831
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Apr. 13 to Apr. 15, 2014