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Battista remembered as ‘community leader’

Battista remembered as ‘community leader’ Battista remembered as ‘community leader’

Veronica Jean Sieg Battista of Ramsey died surrounded by her loved ones Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. She was 58.

She was a “community leader and inspiration to all,” according to Dr. Lance Richards, superintendent of the North Harrison Community School Corp.

Not only did Battista serve as office manager of the family’s business, Ramsey Popcorn Co., for 26 years, she was elected to the North Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees in the General Election of 2009 and served those 10 years as board president.

She stepped down from her role leading the board this year after nominating her long-time friend and fellow board member Marla Adams for president.

Adams said that it would be hard to fill her shoes, due to Battista’s constant work to make the corporation and community better day in and day out, but she was honored that Battista trusted her with the position.

“Veronica was always so knowledgeable, did her research and asked the best probing questions,” Adams said. “Because of her business background, she understood the financial side of things so well. We attended many school board events, meetings and seminars together where we learned a lot and got a greater understanding of what school boards were to do and not to do. I will miss her very much; she was a great friend to me and to the others she served with.”

Richards noted that Battista’s impact on the community was shown by her ability to always keep the students and staff at the forefront of all her decisions and that will be long-lasting. He referenced that during this unprecedented year with the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not uncommon for every decision the school board needed to make to have Battista follow up with “How will this affect the kids?” or “How will this change things long term and not just right now?”

There wasn’t a time, he said, that she wasn’t thinking ahead for everyone else’s sake.

“Veronica is someone I consider a mentor and a very important person in my life,” Richards said. “She has been involved in the North Harrison school corporation since I joined the team here, and she truly showed me how to make decisions that were just and impactful. I cannot express how much she will be missed by everyone here. Her work for the schools and the popcorn company and the community is something that will stay around forever.”

Steve Hanger, who joined the school board at the same time as Adams and Battista, said Battista “took care of the kids first” and tried to do right by the school teachers and employees.

“She was such a rock for our school board and school community,” he said. “She certainly will be missed.”

Battista’s funeral was Monday morning at St. Bernard Catholic Church in Frenchtown followed by burial in the church cemetery. Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey handled the arrangements.