Gary Bateman Sr. '61 May 1, 2023 10:58 AM updated: May 1, 2023 11:25 AM
Gary Dean Bateman, Sr.
July 21, 1939 - April 13, 2023
Gary Dean Bateman, Sr., surrounded by family, went home to be with our heavenly Father on April 13, 2023. He was a man of faith who was very much loved by his family and friends.
He was born 21 July 1939 in Dallas, Texas, to parents Aline Z. Wiley and H.G. Wiley Jr. According to his mother. “He was the prettiest baby she had ever seen”.
Gary Sr. graduated from Texas A&M University in 1961 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering and was a proud member of the Corps of Cadets. Gary was commissioned 1st Lt US Army-Airborne/Infantry. The 1st Armored Division were airlifted to Ft Lauderdale Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With 24 hours shore leave in Ft Lauderdale, Gary Sr. found himself at the Peppermint Lounge where he won a twist contest and has the trophy to prove it. After 2 years in active duty, Gary Sr. spent the next 4 years in the Louisiana National Guard as a Reserve Officer.
Gary Sr. accepted his first job as Logging Engineer at Schlumberger in New Orleans. Gary Sr. worked as an offshore engineer for 9 months at Schlumberger. It was said that he was the longest engineer trainee they ever had. He knew this 15 on /15 off was not his cup of tea. The team at Schlumberger said, “You should sell this stuff”. That started his love for Engineering Sales.
Gary Sr. then began working at Clark Brothers Company in Olean, New York where he met Helen Zatycki. They married in 1965. Gary Sr. loved his new Polish family where he had his first proper Manhattan and learned the Polka. Gary and Helen had three beautiful boys, Gary Jr., Mark, and Kevin. Gary Sr. worked for various engineering companies that took the family from New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, then back to Houston. In 1982, Gary Sr. started his own company, Applied Process Products Overseas, Inc. which became Turbomech International. His sons Gary Jr. and Kevin joined the company in the late 90’s but kept Sr. around. In Sr.’s words, “They didn’t pay much, and I still had to buy the boys lunch”. Gary Jr. still owns and operates that legacy today.
Gary Sr.’s adventures continued in retirement as he embarked on a quiet life as a Gentleman Rancher on his Rockin B Ranch near Groesbeck, TX. His 333-acre ranch was home to 400 cattle.
Gary moved back to Houston in 2006. He met YinFang Zhu and they married in 2010.
Gary Sr.’s passion was his beloved Texas Aggies. He had season tickets for Aggie football from 1974-2020. Sr. would wander around other tailgates on those Fall Saturday afternoons, meeting all sorts of amazing Aggies and would bring them back to the Bateman Tailgate for BBQ and a beer. He marched every year Rally to the Guidons with his last March In on November 2020 and was able to ride in 2021. Sr. remained in constant contact with all his fellow A&M alumni and friends. Gary was Eppright Distinguished Donor and Company “Animal” A. He felt it was important to give back to his university.
Gary was an avid traveler and visited 31 different countries, places most could only imagine. He went to China three times and carried the A&M Flag onto the Great Wall of China as well as to Xi-An, home of the Terracotta Warriors.
Gary Sr.’s surviving loved ones include his wife YinFang, his three sons, Gary Jr., Mark (Katy) and Kevin (Martha), his three grandchildren Samantha, Kyle, and Kalen, his former wife Helen, his brother Bruce (Sabrina) and Marc (Marsha), Sister-in-law Lana and his nieces and nephews. Gary was preceded in death by his mother Aline and his daughter Suzanne. Gary Sr. was greeted at Heaven’s Gate by his faithful dogs, Chewy and Polo.
Gary Sr. made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He privileged those who knew him with a sense of humor unmatched by the best comedians, although he did need some new material. Gary leaves behind loved ones who will continuously miss him and a Legacy of which he can be proud.
A viewing, celebration of life and reception will be held at 9:00 am on Monday, May 1, 2023, at Klein Funeral Home, Champions, 16131 Champion Forest Drive, followed with Celebration of Life service at 10:00 am. Final salute and Military services will be held at 12:30pm at the Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77038.
In lieu of flowers, Gary Sr. asked if you could please give to the Houston SPCA https://act.houstonspca.org/a/donate?_ga=2.87566936.1744986356.1681759804-1149690854.1681759804