OBITUARY: Margery Battin, Longtime Lexington Town Moderator
- Deceased's name: Margery M. Battin
Margery Milne Battin, of Concord formerly of Lexington, a leader in town government, passionate and staunch community organizer and advocate for over 60 years died at age 85 on Aug. 9, with her family by her side.
She has been described as a legacy and a role model for
women for the impact she made in her community and statewide. Her work as Lexington Town Moderator for 22 years gained recognition around the state, demonstrated by her election as President of the Massachusetts Moderators Association. Her life-long accomplishments set a wonderful example for her children and grandchildren who she loved dearly.
Until her recent illness she continued to be a vibrant, energetic woman with many plans for her future. She was born March 25, 1927 to Mildred Conboy (Smith) and Cecil Paton Milne in Toronto, Canada. After her early years spent in Paris, France and Toronto,Canada her family moved to Racine, Wisconsin. High School summers during WWII were spent in a factory producing M5 light tanks where she was a member of the United Auto Workers, serving as Vice Chairman of the union’s safety committee.
Her service with the UAW inspired her to major in economics at Wellesley College with an emphasis on labor issues. The plan to become a union organizer after graduation changed with her marriage to Richard (Dick) H. Battin August 25, 1947. After graduating from Wellesley in 1948 she joined an investment banking firm in the Boston area while Dick was studying for his PhD at MIT.
The Battins settled in Lexington MA in 1953. As mother of three young children – Tom born in 1952, Pam in 1954, and Jeff in 1957 - she moved from professional
employment to concentrate on child and community issues. She was a Den mother, Brownie leader, Sunday School teacher, METCO host parent, elementary school PTA
Board Member, Vice-President Lexington League of Women Voters, and President of her Wellesley College Alumnae class. She served on the Board of Directors of RePlace (Youth Counseling Services), Lexington Visiting Nurse Association, and the Lexington Interfaith Corporation (sponsor of low and moderate income housing). She helped organize Citizens for Lexington Public Schools and
Citizens for Lexington Youth. Her passionate involvement in supporting and improving New England Town Government began in 1960 when she was elected to
Lexington’s Town Meeting. She noted that, “It is at the local level where needs occur and services are delivered. You can immediately see the results of what government does or doesn’t do. You can see what works and doesn’t work. You can then personally engage colleagues in local problem solving.”
She represented municipal interests on the State, County and National levels. As Lexington Moderator (22 yrs.) and former Selectman (12 yrs.-chair 3 yrs.), she is the only person to serve as both the President of the Massachusetts
Moderators Association and President of the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association. She was a Trustee of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, President of the Middlesex County Selectmen’s Association, a founding member and first Chairman of the Women Elected Municipal Officials (Massachusetts), and a member of the Public Safety Committee of the National League of Cities.
She served on the Governor’s Local Government Advisory Committee and was Chair of the Tax Policy Committee of the Mass Municipal Association. She chaired the
Advisory Council, Department of Public Management and Administration at Suffolk University.
Her knowledge of economics and taxation issues led to membership on the regional Hanscom Area Traffic Committee and the Chairmanship of the Lexington
Center Revitalization Committee where she led the efforts of the Selectmen, Planning Board and Chamber of Commerce in devising a plan for the revitalization of Lexington Center. At the time she chaired Mass Municipal
Association Tax Policy Committee it filed the first comprehensive tax reform legislation in many years.
Long interested in the structure and processes of Government, she chaired the Structure of Government Committee, which produced the Lexington Selectmen-Town
Manager Plan. As Selectman she was instrumental in instituting a sewer master plan, parking plan, fair housing policy and in creating a Youth Commission, Council on Aging, Human Service Committee, and Arts Council. Her efforts increased government visibility and citizen participation and improved local/state/regional relations -- effecting Selectmen’s operating policies and procedures and designing a local government goal setting process which received national attention.
Her involvement in human services spanned over twenty years. She served as Vice-President of Cary Memorial Library Foundation, Corporator of Emerson Hospital, Chair of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay Information and Referral Committee, and as a Director of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health. She was appointed by the Local Government Advisory Committee to
represent municipal interest on the State’s Human Service Social Policy Group. She was a member of the Lexington Health Planning Council of Greater Boston and a lecturer on community relations for community programs at the Radcliffe Seminars.
Professionally she combined her interests in government, sound business management and human services. Prior to her election to public office she served as a paid municipal consultant to other towns. She was a founder and
principal of Strategy Development Associates, a marketing consulting firm. She was a consultant on quality assurance to the Brockton Multi-Service Center and Director of the Department of Mental Health’s Resource Survey Project. She was featured in a Boston Magazine edition highlighting Boston’s most powerful women. She has been listed in Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the
She was an enthusiastic gardener and amateur photographer. An eclectic, voracious, reader she was known to read as many as five books a day. Always
physically active she, in the words of a former beau, made up in enthusiasm what she lacked in ability as she tackled a variety of sports. In her early years she rode horses, played golf, tennis and badminton. Relinquishing these
in later years, she and her husband Dick became ardent swimmers, walkers, bicyclists, and cross country skiers. She and her Dick traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and the Middle East often including their children and grandchildren. After 58 years in Lexington she and Dick moved to Newbury Court in Concord, Massachusetts in October 2011.
She is survived by her husband of 65 years Richard H. Battin of Concord, MA-formerly of Lexington, MA; her sister Nancy McIntosh of McLean VA and brother Bob Milne of Atlanta GA; her children and their spouses: Tom and Daryl Battin of Lexington MA, Pam Battin-Sacks and Steven Sacks of Portsmouth NH, and Jeff and Linda Battin of Castle Rock CO; and five grandchildren: Matt Battin and his wife Amber of Chicago IL, Beth Battin of Medford MA, Rachel Sacks of Portsmouth NH, Kelly Battin of Kapolei HI and Christopher Battin of Castle Rock CO.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 14th at 2 PM in the Hancock Church,1912 Mass. Ave., Lexington MA. Marge requested memorial donations be made to Cary
Memorial Library Foundation, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420/ www.carymemoriallibraryfoundation.org
Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home of Concord, Susan M. Dee and Charles W. Dee, Jr., Funeral Directors.
To share a remembrance in the online guestbook, please visit www.deefuneralhome.com
Marge requested memorial donations be made to Cary Memorial Library Foundation,1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, MA 02420.www.carymemoriallibraryfoundation.org.
A memorial service will be held on October 14th,at 2 PM in Hancock Church, 1912 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington MA.