I suppose the place to start is with my own beginning... I was born in Mills Hospital, in San Mateo, California,
on August 24, in 1943. That was right in the middle of World War II. I have an older brother, Ardie, who
arrived three years before me. His birthday is April 14 and he was born in the same hospital. He is named after my dad, Ardern Ralston Batchelder, and he is Junior.
Anyway, we lived in San Mateo at 412 Hurlingham Street until
I was seven years old and then we moved to Ross, in Marin County, north of San Francisco. During that time my father, Ardern Ralston Batchelder Senior, or "Batch"
as even my mother called him, worked for the Emporium in San Francisco where he had started as a stock boy. The
Emporium was a huge department store that sold everything. Really, everything. Clothes, furniture, tools, pets,
pots and pans and just about anything else.
My dad worked as a stock boy at the Emporium while he went to school at the University of California in Berkeley.
After graduation he attended the Hastings Law School for two years, and was then invited to
attend the Emporium's Executive Training Program which
led to his later success with the company. Dad was the oldest of three children from a second marriage and had a brother
named Joseph Henry and a sister named Doris. My grandmother "Nammy", Edna Marie Hildebrand, married my grandfather after
his first wife died and she came to the home to care for the children. Dad had three half-siblings from that first
marriage - Alfred, Eck and Lucy.
My mother also grew up in San Mateo where she and my dad met. Her mother and father were Lina Scott Bowles and Samuel
Orrin Bowles. My grandmother Lina came to this country from a small village named Tiburton, in England, and my
grandfather Samuel was from Greenfield, Missouri. Although they lived in San Mateo my grandfather's business was in
San Francisco. He owned Bowles Printing Corporation,and he invented a way to print the paint color samples which were true to the
color. Most of his business was with retail paint stores. I'm not sure of the date, but they divorced after I
was born, and my grandfather went to live for awhile in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco while my grandmother found a very tiny house
in San Mateo, where she lived on a limited income. Later, my grandfater met and married Connie, Constance Heaton, who
was a nurse in San Francisco. Her family was prominant in Paso Robles. My grandmother did not remarry.
Okay, back to me...
I got a bachelor's degree from the University of California in Santa Barbara - in French, of all things. That was in 1965. When I left there I went to Glendale,
Arizona, and enrolled in the Thunderbird School for Global Management. I took a number of courses in international
business and graduated with a BFT... A Bachelor of Foreign Trade. I also met Peter Westgarth Sill there, and we
were married on December 16, 1966. We moved to Oak Park, just outside of Chicago, but
two years later we moved to Hinsdale, a little further outside the city. We raised three children while
Peter worked in the food industry. His first job was with Wilson Foods but for the
rest of his career he was with Swift and Company.
Peter was a British Subject, but he was born in the Dominican Republic and is now an American citizen. We were
divorced on December 10, 1996.
Our children, all born at the Hinsdale "San", (Sanitarium and Hospital)
Christopher Westgarth Sill, May 13, 1972
Douglas Westgarth Sill, May 30, 1974
Valerie Megan Sill, May 24, 1977
I went to work for Specialty Enzymes, and became very knowledgable about selling enzymes and for the most part enjoyed
my work, but I retired in 2007 and never looked back.
Today I have a lot of friends, many in the world of tournament-level bridge where I have reached a level rated in the
top 4% of bridge players in the US.
And I had a special friend whom I met through bridge who built this website for me...
Roy and I became special friends about Thanksgiving, in 2012, and I believe he loved me very much, but perhaps too much as
I felt smotherd by it. We parted on March 29, 2015, when I said to him, "Please go home." We've not
been together since. It was easier than the divorce with Peter. (At least for me.) I wanted no part of
marriage because I like my independence!