Margaret A. Bachtell

Aug 1, 2019
bachtell, margaret crop


11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at Katharine Graham Pahl Chapel at Memorial Park Cemetery, corner of West 4th St. and Ridgeway Ave., Waterloo





4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at Locke Funeral Home, 1519 W. 4th St., Waterloo


Waterloo Memorial Park Cemetery


May be directed to Trinity Bible Church or Suncrest Hospice of West Des Moines.


Margaret Alice Bachtell, 89, of Waukee, formerly of Waterloo and Cedar Falls, died August 1, 2019, at The Village at Legacy Pointe in Waukee.

She was born April 30, 1930, in Wichita, KS, the daughter of Allen Edward and Elza McGraw Green. Margaret married Ross L. Bachtell of  Waterloo on June 12, 1955, in Eureka, KS; he died June 28, 1999.                 

She graduated from Eureka High School in 1948 and graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1952 with a B.A. Margaret moved to Waterloo in 1953 to work as a District Advisor for the Girl Scouts.                       

She was a member of Trinity Bible Church in Cedar Falls and served on the board of elders at Westminster Presbyterian and Central Christian Church. Margaret taught adult bible classes for many years and taught interdenominational bible classes at Friendship Village. From 1989 to 1992, she served as president of Conestoga Council of Girl Scouts and has volunteered in nearly every capacity with the Girl Scouts. She was also past president of PEO Chapter FE. Mostly, Margaret loved and served the Lord with her entire heart, soul and mind and has finally met her Savior Jesus who she talked about endlessly throughout her life. This will be her lasting legacy and one we hope to continue as a tribute to a faithful servant of God.

Margaret is survived by her children, Carolyn Bachtell of Urbandale; Sara Burke (Jim) of Dublin, OH, their children, Katelyn, Sally and John Ross;  Robert Bachtell (Chua) of Roberts, WI, their children, Joanne Xiong, Marlena (Molly), Jasyn and Evan Bachtell; and Jamie Bachtell (Carla) of Alexandria, VA, their children, Emilia and Jackson. She is also survived by a sister in law, Winola Green of Overland Park, KS.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ross; both brothers, Eddie A. Green and John R. Green; and a sister in law, Peg Green.

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  1. Charlie Zimmerman (Son of Carl and Lou Anne) | Aug 12, 2019
    Very sorry for your loss.
  2. Diane Golden | Aug 11, 2019

    Bless you all and may you have only happy memories -- as we, all who knew Margaret were blessed to know her. 

    She was my Chapter FE P.E.O. sister, and one of the sweetest, generous, happy and fun woman I have known.  Love and Peace.

    Diane Golden

  3. Sara Bachtell Burke | Aug 09, 2019

    Eulogy for Margaret Bachtell  April 30, 1930 - August 1, 2019 

    Good morning. What a blessing to speak on behalf of our family today about a remarkable, independent, funny, spunky, determined, hard  working, horse loving, God fearing woman we know as mom.  I’d like to begin by assuring you that mom was not afraid to  die. In fact, she talked incessantly about Heaven and even had a list of  things that she not only wanted to ask God but to ask others who had  preceded her. One person on her list was Jimmy Sulentic. After he died in a  plane crash leaving four young children without a mother or father, mom  would go on and on about how she had warned Jimmy about getting in  those old planes! She couldn’t wait to let him know - once she passed  through the Pearly Gates - how reckless his behavior was. Back on earth,  mom also showed her displeasure with her beloved see Jimmy  quote unquote hated our dogs and always joked about kicking them when  he was at our house. As soon the name and dates were etched on his gravestone, mom loaded up the kids and dogs in the station wagon and  drove us to Mount Olivet. Once there, we found Jimmy’s resting place and  mom let the dogs - shall we say - relieve themselves on his grave! I drove  by Mt. Olivet the other day and noticed a huge NO DOGs sign and  couldn’t help but wonder if that policy was put in place because of mom!  Margaret Alice Green entered the world April 30, 1930 the only  daughter of Elza and Allen Green. Sandwiched between Brothers Eddie  and John, Mom was no shrinking violet and could be found riding horses,  fishing, wrangling cattle at the family ranch and generally doing all things  tomboy. But behind that tough exterior was still a little girl who her  brothers called Margie Alice and remained the apple of her father’s eye  until his death in 1961. In her teen years, mom’s parents sent her to horse  camp in the Colorado Rockies to tame her childhood allergies. This of  course led her to a new love of the mountains, rock climbing and down hill  skiing that she kept up until she was in her mid-70s. The natural choice for college was the University of Colorado’s, Boulder, nestled in the spectacular flatirons of the Rockies. After securing her BA in English in 1952, she was offered two in Kansas City...the other in Waterloo, Iowa. Of course the woman who so often quoted poetry from memory - especially Robert Frost - chose the road less traveled. The rest, of course, is history.  After working for the Girl Scouts for a few years, mom met the love  of her life, Ross Bachtell and began the next great adventure of her life.  They married June 12, 1955 and welcomed their first child Carolyn a few  years later. Robert and I came along in 1960 and 63. Mom always wanted a  large family - (10 if your father would let me) and her final child Jamie  arrived in 1967. When we asked her if daddy had wanted another child she  said “Jamie was a gift between her and God,” with a twinkle in her eye. ☺️  When Grandma Green’s Cadillac rolled into town to help her with the  three existing kids and a newborn, mom later shared that grandma stated  drolly, “I hope you don’t ruin another one!” as mom stood cradling baby  Jamie.   Grandma needn’t worry. Anyone who knew mom, understood her  life was centered around God and Family. She wanted more than anything  for not only her children and grandchildren to know and love the Lord but  also everyone who came in contact with her. She did this by living the  Gospel. Our home was a haven for neighborhood children, family or  friends who needed a place to live for while as well as countless pets and  stray animals. I road along in the car with her numerous times delivering  meals to the sick or bereaved. Mom wasn’t what people would consider a  gourmet cook unless she was taking a meal to someone or having her PEO  sisters or Bridge Club over. She was aways opening our home for a party,  dinner or meeting forgoing a perfectly clean house and dimming the over  head lights instead. She explained that people love to be entertained and  don’t really care what the house looks like. Mom lived out the Gospel by settling Vietnamese boat people...setting up living arrangements, collecting house hold items and working on job placement and English classes for them. These are things I have tucked in my own heart allowing me to be a better person, mother and Christian. You see, mom knew the power of  evangelism is often delivered best without words. There are too many  other ways mom contributed to the community to list but rest assured she  was on just about ever committee, board, group and organization that gave  back in some way. I truly believe her sunny disposition was due to the fact  that she was always doing things for others. There was a time in my very  young adult life when I was a bit down, work was difficult...I was  exhausted. I called mom and I have used the advice she gave me every  since. She said, whenever you begin to feel blue, the best thing to do is find  someone worse off than you are and help something unexpected  for someone....offer a bit of kindness or pray for someone. Before you know  it, she said, you will feel better too. That is the type of person she was...always putting others before herself. Mom’s most enduring legacy is her faith. She led countless Bible  studies both within her churches and the community. After we were  grown, she turned a bedroom into “The Gap” taken from Ezekiel 22:30 “I  sought the man who would stand in the Gap for Me.” Mom’s goal in life  was to help bridge the gap between those she loved on earth to the Savior  she loved in Heaven through study and prayer. Each week mom would  retreat to that room to  prepare Bible studies, pray and plan. Her life on  earth was full but her heart and spirit were always focused on the Eternal. Dad’s retirement didn’t slow either of them down. Besides their bi- yearly trips to Deer Island, New Brunswick they set off in their motorhome  for a long planned trip to Alaska. Mom and dad loved their life of travel  both around the United States and Canada as well as all over the world.  They never failed to befriend locals and would receive notes and  Christmas. greetings from all over.  They also became grandparents during these years. Since I was the  only married child at the time, Mom never hesitated to let me know that she was the only one left of her friends without a grandchild! Katelyn Margaret Burke arrived in 1991 a bit premature but very feisty and her newly minted grandparents were overjoyed. A story I love to tell is shortly after Katelyn arrived mom and dad adopted a miniature Yorkie named Maddie who was very cute. However when they visited... mom carried a brag book in her purse that had pictures of the dog not the long sought grandchild and she would tell anyone who would listen about how cute and smart her dog was! My precious little girl was shown up by a dog! ☺️  It was during these years that dad was diagnosed with both prostate  cancer and a brain malignancy. But mom’s faith never wavered. She served  as his care giver, protector, nurse, spiritual advisor and biggest defender  until the end. He would live to see two more Burke grandchild born and  will someday know Robert and Chua’s four children and Jamie and Carla’s  two. He would love every single one of you kids as mom did and be very  proud of all you are doing.  I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about my amazing sister Carolyn  here...following dad’s death she selflessly uprooted her life in Dallas, TX to  be closer to mom since the rest of us lived out of state. She has been more  than mom’s guardian...she has been her angel and I know it’s been both  physically and emotionally exhausting. Carolyn has lived near mom  during her twilight years and filled them with joy, comfort and many trips  to the Farmer’s Market and mom’s beloved ranch. I want you to know how  much you are loved and appreciated Carolyn...the sacrifices you have  made show your Godly, compassionate heart. In John 15:13 Jesus says we  show no greater love than we lay down our life for another.  did this for mom beautifully with joy and without asking for anything in  return. I love you so much. In closing I’d like to challenge each of you to keep mom’s legacy alive  by loving the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul and mind and loving  your neighbors as yourself. This was Jesus greatest commandment to His  disciples and the commandment mom lived by. I love these words adapted  from 2 Timothy 4:7-8 fit mom perfectly: Mom, you have fought the good fight, you have finished your race, you have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, has awarded you on that day, and not only to you but also to all who have loved His appearing. Well done good and faithful servant...well done mom. Until we meet again...I love you. ❤️

  4. Teran Buettell | Aug 09, 2019
    I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.  She was a kind and generous woman.  That legacy continues in her children.  May the Lord bless you with peace and comfort during this time of separation from her.
  5. Sandy Fulcher | Aug 06, 2019

    To the Bachtell family,

    So sorry for your loss. I volunteered with Margaret through Girl Scouts. She was a wonderful woman who always had a smile. She trained me while we trained other leaders in outdoor skills. She inspired me to finish my BA at UNI and to go on teach others as a Naturalist at Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls.

    I will always remember her laugh.

    Sandy Fulcher

  6. Jean Markussen | Aug 06, 2019

     To the Bachtell family.

      Sadly I can't be at Margaret's services this week. However I wanted to send my love to you all. I was Margaret's Surecare helper(now retired), while she was still living in Windcove.

      Margaret and I soon became dear dear friends over the years that I worked for her.  We enjoyed many wonderful talks together about the importance of living our lives for Christ, as she did daily, and I will always hold those memories very dear to my heart. 

    I am glad that you could keep her close to you for the years before her passing. Your family will be in my prayers. I say to Margaret, until we meet again dear friend.

    Jean Markussen Surecare(retired)



  7. Eric Johnson | Aug 06, 2019

    Hello Bachtell Family -

    may the Lord’s peace and the best memories of hisfaithfull servant Margaret be with all of you always.

    I will always remember your Mom’s laugh, so contagious and genuine. 

    -Eric Johnson

  8. Dorothy Dickens Meyerink | Aug 05, 2019

    My short message of condolence is

    Dorothy Dickens Meyerink| Aug 05, 2019

     May God give each one of Margaret's family peace and comfort as they said a final farewell to their loved one.  May all Margaret's loved ones seek to love and serve the Lord she knew in the same spirit Margaret did.  My God's peace and love fill you hearts now and in the days ahead.

       In Christ, Dorothy Dickens Meyerink (friend of Sara in Ohio)

  9. Dorothy Dickens Meyerink | Aug 05, 2019
    May  God give each one of Margaret's family peace and comfort as they said a final farewell to their loved one.  May all Margaret's loved ones seek to love and serve the Lord she knew in the same spirit Margaret did.  May God's peace and love fill your hearts now and in the days ahead.  In Christ,  Dorothy Dickens Meyerink (friend of Sara in Ohio)

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