O’Fallon resident celebrates her 100th birthday

Rahmah Green Batchelder, a longtime resident of O’Fallon, recently
celebrated her 100th birthday. (Submitted Photo)

By Kayla Andersen
Weekly Reporter

O’FALLON – Rahmah Green Batchelder, a longtime resident of O’Fallon, just celebrated her 100th birthday. 

Batchelder grew up in O’Fallon before moving to Chicago to attend school at Blackburn College. While in Chicago, she met the man who would become her husband. They were married during World War II and lived in Chicago together to raise their family long after the war ended. They lived there until her husband decided to retire, which led to their decision to move to Florida and enjoy retirement in the warmer weather. However, when he passed away, Batchelder decided to move back to her hometown, where she’s lived for the past 23 years. Four years ago, she moved to the Colonnade, right across from the OTHS Football field. 

Rahmah has received a myriad of honors and awards throughout her life, some of which can still be found hanging in the OTHS halls. In grade school, she was the O’Fallon homecoming princess during the 1928 school year. She was also a cheerleader and a choir member at the O’Fallon High School, where she graduated from in 1938. 

In college, she was voted “prettiest girl” during her sophomore year at Blackburn College, which was newsworthy enough to make its way into the local newspaper’s May 14, 1941, edition. She was passionate about serving her community and often volunteered in her adult years at the library, local hospital, and in the role of an election judge. Her daughter, Susan, shared that she was a wonderful mother to her four kids.

Susan shared that the family was planning a huge birthday bash for Rahmah’s 100th birthday, but Covid-19 got in the way. In an effort to celebrate Rahmah despite the restrictions, her daughters crafted an alternative plan and spread the word. Friends and family from all around sent personal cards and sweets to quench Rahmah’s sweet tooth. Those who lived nearby met together outside of the Colonnades on Wednesday, September 23, to throw a masked, outdoor, physically distanced talent show for Rahmah to enjoy on her 100th birthday. 

Rahmah was genuinely surprised by the party and was so grateful for each performance her family members had prepared. 

“This means the world to me – I was so surprised! Everybody was so gracious, and the kids performed wonderfully,” said Rahmah. 

She is thankful to be alive and well to celebrate such a milestone with so many loved ones and has some great hopes for her future, “I just pray and hope I can stay healthy as long as I am here!”