William “Billy” Harvey Bateman, Sr., 80, of Savannah, GA, died peacefully at his home on September 29, 2018, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Billy was born on July 4, 1938, in Norfolk, Virginia. He was the only child of the late William Joseph Bateman and Julia Hart Bateman. Billy retired as a Lieutenant from the District of Columbia Fire Department.
He attended Oscar F. Smith High School, where he was a star athlete competing in wrestling. As a junior in high school he won a silver medal in the Pan American Olympic Games in wrestling. He was also a member of the high school Athletic Hall of Fame. While in the United States Army, he won the Far East All Army wrestling championship, also concurrently earning a brown belt in judo in less than two years.
After serving in the Army, Billy later became a fireman in Washington, DC. During that time he received a silver medal of valor for rescuing four firemen trapped in the basement of a burning building, where there had been a backdraft explosion.
Billy was a member of Congregation Mickve Israel and the Jewish Educational Alliance. He was also a member of Alcoholic Anonymous and had 24 years of sobriety. During those years he became a mentor for many men struggling with this disease.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased in 2009 by his wife of 28 years, Laura Wiltsey Bateman.
Survivors include his wife of six years, Paulette Bateman, one daughter, Barbara Ann Adler, Griffin, GA, three sons, William “Bill” Bateman, Jr. (Jackie), Southern Pines, NC, Joseph “Joe” Bateman (Lynn), Stuart, Florida, and Ian Bateman (Shannon) of Florence, SC and 10 grandchildren. Also surviving is his former wife, and mother of his four children, Kim Bryan, Carthage, N.C.
Remembrances: Congregation Mickve Israel – Post Office Box 816, Savannah, Georgia 31402-0816.