Felice Bateman

In Memoriam: Felice Bateman

 Felice BatemanFelice D. Bateman, 90, died February 4, 2013, at Carle Hospital, in Urbana.

Felice was born in Springfield, Mass. on Sept 2, 1922, the daughter of Joshua and Minna Kohn Davidson. Survivors are her daughter Sarah (Sally) Bateman of Urbana, brother David S. Davidson of Bethdesda, MD, a nephew and grandnieces.

Felice graduated from Smith College and, with encouragement from Professor Deane Montgomery, went on to graduate study in mathematics at the University of Michigan. She earned her Ph.D, awarded in 1950, with a thesis in algebra written under the direction of Robert Thrall. Another intervention by Montgomery led to meeting her future husband, Paul T. Bateman. Felice and Paul were married in Detroit, Michigan, on June 25, 1948. Their daughter, Sally, was born in 1951.

Felice taught at Douglas College in New Jersey during Paul's postdoctoral stay at the Institute for Advanced Study. When the Batemans came to the University of Illinois in 1950, nepotism laws were in effect that prevented employment of more than one member of a family. This led to Felice being employed on a ``temporary'' basis for eleven years until 1965, when she received a regular appointment. She retired from the Mathematics Department faculty in 1989.

Felice was a lover of classical music, and until the last few years, the Batemans were season ticket holders at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Also, the Batemans were enthusiastic travelers, with Boulder and Estes Park, Colorado among their favorite places. On one trip, to Vancouver, B.C., Felice fell and broke a hip. The resulting surgeries slowed her down, and over the years, walking became increasingly hard, but she kept up her good spirits.

Felice contributed to life in the Mathematics Department by being welcoming and helpful to newcomers and guests, both domestic and international. She served as hostess for many departmental functions during Paul's tenure as head. Felice was a helpful agent also when Paul was an Associate Secretary of the American Mathematical Society and was cited for her work on the A.M.S. volume "A Century of Mathematical Meetings."

A number theory conference in honor of the Batemans will be held at the University of Illinois in Spring, 2014.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Paul T. Bateman Number Theory Fellowship Fund, c/o the University of Illinois Foundation.