Wilma Bateman lived in Loogootee, Indiana all her life, graduating from St.
John High School in 1955. Though Wilma was competitive, at the time St.
John offered no competitive sports for female athletes. Shortly after
graduation, Wilma married Jim Bateman. Jim and Wilma raised six children,
all of whom were involved in sports while attending Loogootee High School.
Wilma got no greater pleasure in life than watching her children compete in
sports from grade school through high school. However, her own competitive
nature as an adult played a great role in her well-lived life. As an adult,
Wilma competed in tennis and golf leagues winning many trophies along the
was her love of tennis that was passed down to the two youngest of their
children, Samantha and Chris who became quite accomplished in their own
right at Loogootee High School. Chris was a standout on one of the best
Loogootee tennis teams in its history, while Samantha had an outstanding
career at LHS and was awarded a four year scholarship to play tennis at
Kentucky Wesleyan College. In so doing, Samantha was of the first LHS
tennis player to play the sport in college. Wilma’s love of tennis was also
passed on to three of the granddaughters, all of whom played tennis at LHS.
Later in life Wilma picked up a golf club and fell hard for that sport. She
played every day she could, until her passion was interrupted by a diagnosis
of lung cancer in 2005. Though her doctors gave her only 12-18 months to
live, her love of life was so strong she lived for that five years after her
diagnosis. While her disease slowed her down, she continued to play golf
when she could. In fact, just two months prior to her passing, she captured
the Senior League Golf Championship at the Lakeview Golf Course at West
Wilma L. Bateman Memorial Scholarship was established to honor Wilma’s
memory and to provide a legacy to help young female athletes in whatever
their college aspirations may be.