Yale University

In Memoriam

Michael E. Batten


Mike Batten
1964 graduation

Racine (Wisconsin) Journal Times

RACINE - Michael E. Batten, age 75, passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at his residence.

Michael was born in Racine, April 14, 1940, son of the late John and Katherine (née Vernet) Batten.

On July 6, 1963, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, he was united in marriage to Gloria E. Strickland.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University. Mike worked at Twin Disc, Inc. for forty-three years, serving as its chief executive officer for thirty years. Upon his retirement in 2013, Mike continued to serve as Chairman.

Prior to Twin Disc, Mike was an account executive with Ted Bates & Company in New York.

Mike held directorships with Walker Forge, Hypro Inc. and Racine Commercial Airport Corporation, and former directorships at Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Sensient Technologies Corporation, Firstar Corporation, and Simpson Industries.

His civic activities included:

  • Past Chairman and Director of Racine County Workforce Development Board
  • Past member of Forward Racine Corporation
  • Director of Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Former Chairman and Director of Junior Achievement of Racine
  • Former Chairman and Director of Greater Racine Committee
  • Former Chairman and Director of Racine Area Manufacturers & Commerce
  • Former Chairman and Director of Racine County Economic Development Corporation
  • Former Director, The Prairie School

He received the following awards:

  • Trustee Emeritus Racine United Way Heritage Award
  • Leadership Racine Community Trustee Award
  • Sam Johnson Volunteer Award
  • Racine Business Person of the Year
  • Junior Achievement National Gold Leadership Award
  • Racine Citizen of the Year Award

His professional associations included:

  • Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation
  • Board of Trustees, Society of Automotive Engineers
  • Member, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Director, Public Expenditure Survey of Wisconsin
  • Former Director, Equipment Manufacturers Institute

Mike’s passions in life were spending time with his family and friends in northern Wisconsin, being a part of the lives and careers of Twin Disc’s global employees, and traveling the world with Gloria on new photo safaris.

Retiring away from Racine was never an option. Mike’s first home was in Racine, and he always knew that his final one would be as well. There are just too many people, both still with us and passed, of whom Mike would speak fondly when promoting the many attributes of Racine.

He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of fifty-one years, Gloria; his children, John (Jane) Batten of Racine, Elizabeth (Dirk) Stribrny of Malvern, PA, Louise (Geoff) Crabb of Clarendon Hills, IL, Timothy Batten (fiancée, Morgan Laske) of Racine; his ten grandchildren, Eleanor, Michael, and Elizabeth Batten, Sydney, Taylor, Madison, and Zachary Stribrny, Sophie, Jack, and Henry Crabb; sister, Linda Batten Barrington of Englewood, FL; brother- in-law, Joseph Strickland of Waccabuc, NY; and first cousins who came to live with his family after the death of their parents in 1957: Lisa (Bob) Murphy Charles, Ranchester, WY; Frank Nagle, Albuquerque, NM; Paul Nagle, Topeka, KS, and Peter Nagle, Cable, WI; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends.

In addition to his parents, Mike was preceded in death by his brother, Peter Smith, and cousin Raymond Murphy.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 16, 2015, 12:00pm at The Prairie School, 4050 Lighthouse Drive, with Rev. James Kaestner officiating. Relatives and friends may meet with the family Friday at the funeral home from 4:00pm until 8:00pm. Private interment will be held at Graceland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Junior Achievement have been suggested. Please send condolences to www.meredithfuneralhome.com.