Darrin passed away peacefully early Thursday morning after a valiant battle with cancer. Competitive to the bone, Darrin did everything he could to fight because he so badly wanted to be here. If there was anyone who loved life, it was Darrin. He would want us to remember how hard he fought to stay with us, especially his beloved wife Krista, and adored children Wyatt and Quinn (Brad Butler.)
Born the youngest of five children in Huntington, Indiana to Delbert John (d. 2017) and Carolyn Sue Batdorff, Darrin was the youngest sibling to Debbie Magnus, Dennis, Dave and Dan Batdorff. He played basketball and football throughout high school and college, attending Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. There, he found the love of his life, Krista, and never looked back; they would have celebrated 29 years on August 7. Darrin wanted to share that he couldn’t have asked for a better friend, mother of their children and loving partner in life. He truly felt so lucky and loved.
Darrin was smart, and had a fierce determination for a job well done. He could have chosen any career, but he was destined to be a teacher and a coach. The outpouring of countless stories from his students and players is both overwhelming and joyous. Not only did he passionately teach science for most of his career at Grandville Public Schools, but he also roll modeled kindness, integrity and inclusivity that was then passed on over his 30 years. In fact, he just retired in June, because it was important to him to finish strong, especially as the students championed his fight against cancer; he was so touched by all of your support.
Darrin coached every year that he taught, usually more than one sport - Basketball, Football, Track, Soccer, and Volleyball. His greatest joy was coaching his own children’s teams, and the friendships made over the years as a parent in the stands, where he behaved for the most part. Over the past decade, watching son Wyatt play at the high school and collegiate level was one of his most prized pastimes. He was so proud of his boy, but even more so, the man he has become today.
Darrin continued to play sports throughout his adult life, especially pick up basketball and on his golf league. Darrin would want you all to know he never let anyone win anything, so if you beat him at something, you earned it.
Darrin also loved working with his hands, and would spend his “summers off” painting houses and building bars and decks for friends. He could build or fix just about anything, and never hired a handy person. One of his first jobs was working at the Marina on Lake Charlevoix, which is possibly where Darrin learned to love the water. Spending time at the beach was his favorite way to relax. When reviewing his cell phone pictures after he passed, his family marveled at the amount of sunsets over water (and an inordinate amount of pictures of his cats..)
Like his father, Darrin could talk to a brick wall and it would be both funny and interesting; he was an engaging, contagious story teller. Darrin could make friends anywhere, and he sincerely held lasting and deep relationships with countless individuals from all areas of his life. Yet he was overwhelmed by the support he received in return from those same people after he got sick - and found the joy of friendship more meaningful this past year than any other. Even the Nurses at all locations embraced Darrin because of his wit and enthusiasm during his very difficult medical journey.
And finally, we will remember Darrin’s tender heart. He would drive for hours holding his daughter’s hand from the front to back seat of his car to calm her fears. And he would hold her hand and her face for his father/daughter dance at her wedding five days before he passed. It was his final wish, to be there for his little girl on her wedding day. Quinn, he loved you so.
So to honor Darrin, may we remember to be good and humble servants to each other, laugh often, but also be ready to listen and care. May we cherish the moments, fight hard, but love even harder. May we keep him present always, because he so wanted to be here. And may we remember his wit, that grin and his love for all of us, especially over the water at sunset.
A Service Celebrating Darrin’s life will be held for family, friends and students at Grandville Public High School Auditorium at 4700 Canal Ave SW Grandville MI 49418 Sunday, July 31 at 2:00pm.
Remembering Darrin, a Gathering for friends and family, will be held at Watermark Country Club - Events Entrance, 1600 Galbraith Dr, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, Monday, August 1, from 5:30 - 9:00pm with a tribute and sharing of stories at 7:00pm, adults only please.
In lieu of flowers, any donations in Darrin’s name can be forwarded for the research and treatment of the rare and aggressive cancer that Darrin fought so hard to beat. Maybe someday, together, we will. www.netsmission.org