The Rev. Dr. Donald S. Bachtell

April 12, 2011

JAN. 6, 1932-APRIL 2, 2011

Born in Smithsburg, Md., to Edward and Juanita Winters Bachtell, Donald S. Bachtell was the youngest of four children.

He attended Smithsburg schools and East Stroudsburg University, Pa., where he was an All-America soccer player, and later inducted into the E.S.U. Athletic Hall of Fame. He went on to attain a degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a doctorate degree at Drew University in systematic theology, focusing on the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He served on the staff of the Presbyterian Church of Madison, N.J., before becoming the senior pastor there.

While serving in Madison, he met and married Anna Lee Dooley, of Wilmington, Del. All three of their children were born in New Jersey: Eden Elizabeth in 1967; Paula Ann in 1969; and Nathan Edward in 1971.

In 1978, Don was called as the senior pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Fullerton, Calif., where he served until retirement in 1997. He was an active member of the Los Ranchos Presbytery and an adjunct professor at the Seminary of the West.

As a pastor, Don was most fulfilled by the intimate moments he shared with those families in the communities he served. Be it the sadness in the passing of a loved one or the joy of marriage and baptism, it was the communion shared with others that was most sacred to him.

He and his wife, Anna Lee, have two sons-in-law: Rod Turner of Fullerton and John McCauley of New Jersey; and six grandchildren, Nolan, Quinn and Trace Turner, and Jack, Declan and Maggie McCauley. He is survived by a brother, Edward Bachtell, and his wife, June, of Walkersville, Md.; a brother, Earl, and his wife, Ann Bachtell, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and his sister, Betty, and her husband, Buck Kelly, of Seattle, Wash.

Should you want to give on Don's behalf (in lieu of flowers), please consider a gift to Ring Lake Ranch (, P.O. Box 806, Dubois, WY 82513. The communion he shared as a minister over the years with friends at Ring Lake Ranch enriched and impacted his life and ministry.

He will be buried in Smithsburg Cemetery on Saturday, April 16, at 1 p.m. There will be a memorial service at the Collingswood Presbyterian Church (Collingswood, N.J.) on Sunday, April 17, at 1 p.m., and a celebration of his life in Fullerton on Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

Arrangements were made by J.L. Davis Funeral Home, Smithsburg.

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