- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

Richard A. Batterton, who held many positions in Maryland state government, died Nov. 20 at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore of complications from a stroke. He was 77.

Born in Billings, Mont., Mr. Batterton was raised in Washington state and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Washington. He moved to Maryland in 1962 to become superintendent of Maryland’s Children’s Centers, thus beginning his four decades of public service in Maryland.

Mr. Batterton was chosen on more than one occasion to establish and lead a new department or program for the state.

From 1975 to 1979, he served as secretary of the Department of Human Resources — a department with more than 8,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $500 million that oversaw employment and public-assistance programs. The Maryland Fuel Fund for people with financial need was initiated under Mr. Batterton’s direction.

Earlier, he served as deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene before leaving to create and lead the Energy Policy Office at a time when the state, like the rest of the country, was in crisis from fuel shortages. He took a team of officials from across the state and built an operation and reputation that received recognition nationwide for its responsiveness, innovation and consumer service. Under Mr. Batterton’s leadership, the office was credited with creating an automated statewide fuel inventory system, one of the first in the country.

He also served as director of the Department of Juvenile Services. With a staff of 1,200 and a budget of $12 million, the department won recognition locally and nationally for quality services for children.

After he left Human Resources, Mr. Batterton became vice president of the University Research Co. in Chevy Chase and then formed his own consulting firm, Richard Batterton and Associates.

He was named assistant state superintendent of schools for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in 1981, a position he held until 1991. In this role, he was responsible for the administration and coordination of vocational rehabilitation and correctional education within the Maryland Department of Education. He then served for two years as interim executive director for the League for People with Disabilities.

During his retirement, he enjoyed zydeco dancing and volunteering as a mentor and reading tutor for children and adults

A resident of Guilford, he is survived by his wife, Karin; two daughters, Sara and Jenn, three sons from a prior marriage, Richard, Wade and Steven Batterton; a sister, Joanne Smith of Redmond, Wash.; and five grandchildren.

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