Donald George Bathgate, 79, of Anchor, Ill., passed away April 27, 2018, in Cedar Rapids. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, May 4, at St. John's Lutheran Church, Anchor, with burial immediately following at St. John's Cemetery followed by a luncheon at the church. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at Lamb Funeral Home, Gibson City, Ill. Memorials may be directed to St. John's Lutheran Church, Anchor, or UnityPoint Hospice, Cedar Rapids.
Donald was born Oct. 13, 1938, to George Archibald Bathgate and Anna Margaret Kornemann Bathgate, in Streator, Ill. He attended Science Hall Country School for first and second grade and Rutland Grade and High School third through ninth grade before graduating from Toluca High School in 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics from Wartburg College in Waverly in 1960. During his senior year, he was elected to Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He attended Illinois State University, where he earned his master's degree in business in 1968. He married his college sweetheart, Sherilyn Beecher Ashley of Sibley, Ill., on Aug. 14, 1960, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Anchor.
He is survived by three children, Cynthia Jean (Gary Omar) Bathgate of Cedar Rapids, Kevin Christopher (Tami) Bathgate of Temecula, Calif., and Carla Ann (Karl) Kinch of Cedar Rapids; two grandsons, Austin Grant Bathgate and Colton Reed Bathgate of Temecula; one granddaughter, Jordan Nichole Kinch, also known as his "Bright Eyes" of Cedar Rapids; and two sisters, Sharon Louise (Eugene) Nenne and Margaret Ann (Donald) Stutzman, both of Toluca, Ill. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews, all of whom he adored.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sherilyn Beecher Bathgate; parents, George and Anna Bathgate; brothers-in-law, Norman Ashley and Wesley Ashley; sister-in-law, Caryn Ashley; and nephew, Eric Ashley.
In 1960, he began his career as a business teacher at William S. Hart High School in Newhall, Calif., and later served as dean of students (1970-73). He went on to be the assistant principal at Agoura High School in Agoura Hills, Calif. (1973-85), and then principal at Adolfo Camarillo High School in Camarillo, Calif. (1985-93). In 1992, the school was named a California Distinguished High School. He retired in June 1993.
During his professional years, he was a member of numerous educational organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa and the UCLA Chapter of Delta Pi Epsilon, which presented him the Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1991.
He was a charter member of the Association of California School Administrators serving as Region XIII treasurer (1980-83) and president (1984-85). He received the Region XIII Administrative Excellence Award in 1982-83. He served on the California Secondary School Principals committee (1986-92). He served as the committee chairman during 1991-92.
As a member of the National Association of Secondary Principals, he served as the California representative (1988-91). In 1992, he was a member of an International Study Mission to Australia.
During his career as an administrator, he served on five visitation committees of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation Team and six years as a representative to the California Interscholastic Federation of the Southern Section of California. In the summer of 1981, he wrote an op-ed article for the Los Angeles Times addressing the minimum admission requirements for graduating high school seniors to the University of California. His article was published on Sept. 28, 1981, and was instrumental in a review and change of admission requirements by the University of California.
He was a member of the organizational committee (1961-62) and a charter member of Christ Lutheran Church in Newhall, Calif., where he also served a six-year term as secretary, then president and finally as chairman of the building committee during the construction of the new church building. Later as a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., he served as treasurer (1977-80) and president (1984-85). He received the Region XIII Administrative Excellence Award in 1982-83. He served on the California Secondary School Principals committee (1986-92). He served as the committee chairman during 1991-92. As a member of the National Association of Secondary Principals, he served as the California representative (1988-91). In 1992, he was a member of an International Study Mission to Australia.
He was a member of the organizational committee (1961-62) and a charter member of Christ Lutheran Church in Newhall, Calif., where he also served a six-year term as secretary, then president and finally as chairman of the building committee during the construction of the new church building. Later as a member of Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks, Calif., he served as treasurer (1977-80) and on various committees.
After retiring, he and Sherilyn moved to rural Anchor. He joined the Rotary Club in Gibson City, Ill., and served as president (1995-96) and treasurer (2008-09). For 12 years, he organized the Gibson City Rotary/Big R Charity Golf Scramble. He served on the Rotary District 6490 RYLA Committee and helped plan and lead their first RYLA program in 1997. He served as chairman of the District Interact Committee (1998-2003). He was named the Gibson City Rotarian of the Year for 1998-99. In 2002, he was named to the Rotary District 6490 Hall of Honor and in 2005 was named the District 6490 Rotarian of the Year. In August 2007, the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named him a Paul Harris Fellow.
In 1997, Donald was elected to the position of clerk of Anchor Township. He served 12 years and retired in 2009 and was then elected as a trustee of the Township Board.
Donald was elected as a member of the board of directors of the Belle Prairie Mutual Insurance Co. (2002-15). In November 2006, Donald was elected to the board of directors of the McLean County Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, where he served as assistant financial director and as vice president. In June 2009, he was elected as a trustee for the Gibson Area Hospital Foundation Board and served on the board in various capacities through 2015. In September 2015, Donald and Sherilyn moved to Robins, Iowa, to be closer to their family.
Donald was an avid Chicago White Sox fan and enjoyed playing softball and golf. While he had many roles and passions, his greatest were as a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and uncle.
The family would like to thank UnityPoint Hospice for their exceptional care.