Joan (Kennedy) Batenhorst

Joan (Kennedy) Batenhorst

September 26, 1931 – April 20, 2023

Joan (Kennedy) Batenhorst, age 91, of Omaha, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2023.

VISITATION: 4-6pm, Sunday, April 23rd, with VIGIL SERVICE at 6pm, at St. James Catholic Church, 4710 North 90th Street in Omaha.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, April 24th, 10:30am, St. James Catholic Church, 4710 North 90th Street in Omaha.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment Trust.

Joan was born September 26, 1931, to John and Julia (Carroll) Kennedy and spent her childhood in the Cedar Rapids, NE, area. She was the youngest of nine children.

After a 12-week summer session in college, she was a teacher at a one-room country school for a year.

Joan married Richard (“Dick”) Batenhorst on September 30, 1950, a marriage that lasted 65 happy years before Dick passed away in 2015.

Joan and Dick began their family of four children together while living in Cedar Rapids, Aurora, and Kearney before settling in North Platte, NE in 1962, where they lived for 32 years before retiring to Omaha.

An early sign of Joan’s dedication to her family was her time spent as a “door-to-door” encyclopedia salesperson, a tough task undertaken so her children would have a full set of World Books as they grew up.

As her children grew older, Joan first worked outside the home as a cook and librarian at North Platte St. Patrick’s High School, and later was an administrative assistant for the Haney, Ramaekers, and Ludwig accounting firm.

Joan was an avid supporter of all her children’s, grandchildren’s, and great-grandchildren’s activities and would always be there with an encouraging word. She also enjoyed a good game of bridge with her friends.

Of great importance to Joan was the right-hand role she filled beside her husband as Dick worked countless volunteer hours as a state official for the Knights of Columbus. Their KC life together brought them life-long friends and happy memories from one end of the state to the other.

Family was always a priority, including frequent gatherings with her three sisters, which always had to include posing for their (expletive) picture.

Ever ready to preserve the moment, Joan’s camera was always close at hand. Gatherings were never complete until photos were taken. She compiled multiple photo albums and scrapbooks that served her well in her later years as she spent many hours looking at “her books.”

Joan always delivered an optimistic “it is what it is” or “this too shall pass” attitude with a smile and twinkle in her Irish eyes.

In addition to her parents, Joan was preceded in death by her husband Dick; five brothers: Leonard, Arnold, Donald, Melvin “Bud” and Carroll; three sisters: Lucille Ruma, Jeanne Lutz, and Maxine Robinson; numerous in-laws and nieces and nephews.

She is survived by her children: Gary (Ellen) Batenhorst of Omaha, Nadine (Robert) Karr of Plattsmouth, Russ (Mary) Batenhorst of Hastings, and Greg (Mary Lou) Batenhorst of Mt. Vernon, IA. Other survivors include five grandchildren: Heidi (Adam) Sleper, Jaime (Justin) Short, Julia Batenhorst, Patrick (Rose) Batenhorst, and Tony (Sarah Benal) Batenhorst; as well as great-grandchildren: Kalen, Sabrina, Isabelle, and Cameron Short, Jamison and Clara Sleper and Bernadette Batenhorst; many nieces and nephews; three sisters-in-law; and other extended family members.

Joan’s family thanks the staff of Hillcrest Health in Bellevue and Hillcrest Hospice for their care of Joan in her last two years.



  • Doug & Sue Waltemath Posted April 21, 2023 5:35 pm

    Gary, Russ and Batenhorst Family. Sorry to here about Joan’s passing remember her well from Chestnut and high school. Our moms(Doug) were born the same year. Hope your entire family is doing well. See you guys one of these days. Doug & Sue

  • Elaine M Karr Posted April 22, 2023 11:15 am

    So sorry for your loss. We had many. good times as we shared grandchildren and great children with Nadine and Bob. My sympathy to all the Batenhorst Family .

  • Joseph and Kim Kennedy Posted April 22, 2023 2:17 pm

    Gary, Nadine, Russ, Greg & Batenhorst Family. Our deepest condolences to you & yours. Aunt Joan was such a classy lady and a lot of fun. Her beautiful smile will be missed, but the memory of her gentle spirit shall remain in our hearts forever. Love to all. Kim & Joe

  • Elaine KARR Posted April 22, 2023 3:54 pm

    So sorry for your loss

  • Dan Farrell Posted April 23, 2023 8:27 pm

    Gary, Russ, Greg and Batenhorst Family. I am sorry to hear of your loss. Your Mom and Dad were both among the nicest people I have had the pleasure of knowing. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Dale and Mary Posted April 24, 2023 1:17 pm

    Gary, Russ, Nadine and “Leroy”
    Your Mom meant a lot to me and other members of our class. Her kitchen table was always open
    for games in the evenings I always felt welcomed. In the lunch room she always gave mean extra slice of pizza. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Your Mom will continue to be with you and your family’s heart and minds.

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