Richard Wayne Bateman


Richard Wayne Bateman, age 81, passed away on August 27, 2016, in Houston, Texas.  He was born on December 9, 1934 in Waco, Texas.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Ida S. Cooke.  Wayne is survived by his wife, Linda; daughters, Catherine Gilliland (Michael), Donna Hogg (Robert), and Cynthia Shue; son, Andrew Bateman (Amanda); stepsister, Jan Hart; ten grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren.

Wayne always loved airplanes and wanted to be a pilot.  He attended the University of Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a second lieutenant and immediately began flight school.

He returned to Texas A&M University and earned his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering.  (He was often asked who he rooted for when the two schools played each other.  He’d reply “It depends on where I’m sitting and who has the ball.”)

Wayne served 21 years in the Air Force with two tours in Vietnam  He flew the O2B (9th Air Commando Squadron) and the KC-135 in the Air Refueling Squadron.

Wayne was awarded numerous medals for extraordinary achievement, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Medals, and the Air Force Commendation Medal.

After retiring from the Air Force in 1978, Wayne was a public works director and project manager on various sites.

During his years in final retirement, he loved spending time with his family, valued his friendships at the American Legion, and continued a lifelong service and dedication to others.

Major Richard W. Bateman (Ret.) will be interred at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, on Friday, September 2nd, following a noon viewing at the Sunset Funeral Home in San Antonio.  A memorial service will be held at the American Legion Post 490, 11702 Galveston Road, Houston, Texas, on Sunday, September 4th at 2:00.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial donation in Wayne’s name may do so to The USO, P.O. Box 96860, Washington, D.C.  20077-7677.



  1. Linda, we are very sorry for your loss and the family’s loss of your love one.
    It was always a pleasure talking with Wayne, listening to him recall his lifetime of memories, seeing how it put a smile on his face.
    We hope all your memories will help to carry you and the family through this sad time.

    Donna, Jim Morrow
  2. Wayne was our friend, godfather to our son Christopher, and a good person in the highest definition of the word. He had boundless energy, an ingrained belief in fairness, and what was right and wrong. He was a very Patriotic American and a valued asset to the US Air Force. He will be sorely missed.
    Leif and Sandy Erickson

    Sandy Erickson
  3. Wayne I just loved you to pieces. You always made me laugh. You were truly extraordinary man. You always had a house full of all us women of which you always handled very well. May you rest in peace you have made your journey home
    Hugs and kisses

    Lori Baca
  4. This is Donna Rutherford Gibson. My mother Dorothy Wemple Rutherford was Wayne’s cousin. My grandparents were Edgar & Mary Wemple, sister & brother-in-law to Ida Cooke. Quick story….My dad, Elwood, and Wayne, were stationed in VietNam at the same time. One night they were able to have dinner at Daddy’s apt. He told the story that they had such a good time together, …he said they fussed about every one of the family members back home and laughed so hard together!!!! They had a wonderful evening in such a harsh place, but, they were family and also military officers…it was a nice break for them both. Mother used to tell of she and Daddy going on dates and taking Wayne (not really babysitting!!) and having lots of fun together. I’m really sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. Both Mother & Daddy passed in 2010. My ph no is 623-229-3704 if you ever have an inkling to visit with me.

    Donna RUTHERFORD Gibson
  5. This is Jeff Lineberger. I was thinking about ‘Uncle Wayne’ today. This week will mark the four year anniversary of Wayne’s passing. Wayne was not my uncle. He was a close friend of my father, Harold, who sadly did not make it back from Vietnam. As a friend of our family, we informally referred to Wayne as ‘Uncle’ instead of ‘Mister’. And over the years, I had many discussions with Wayne. Some happy, some sad. Mostly we talked about the war, the loss of his good friend Harold, and the profound impact the war had on him and others. Wayne was a humble man. I say this because never once in the forty plus years that I knew him did he mention his meritorious military service or his many Air Force medals. Wayne never really talked about the details of his impressive and extensive engineering education either. Wayne was a compassionate and empathetic person. He was a patriot. A family man. A good man. He left behind quite a legacy. Wayne made a difference. It was a privilege to know Wayne. I’ll never forget you, ‘Uncle Wayne’. Rest in peace my friend.

    Jeff Lineberger

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