Date of Birth
Date of Death
Neva B. Bateman, age 95, of Elburn, passed away peacefully at Delnor Community Hospital, Geneva, Monday afternoon, August 22, 2005. With the calm assurance and trustful faith that had sustained Neva all of her days, she claimed the promise of her Savior and went home to that place that had been prepared for her in Heaven.Neva was born September 27, 1909, in Stockton, IL, the youngest child of William Orville and Lillian Viletta (Blair) Bourne. The early years of Neva’s childhood were spent in Doran, MN, where the family lived and farmed for a time. When Neva was in the third grade the family returned to make their home in Stockton where Neva graduated, as Valedictorian, from Stockton High School with the class of 1927. She attended Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb for one year before returning to Stockton to teach in the country school for two years after which she returned to college for an additional year. Neva accepted a teaching position in Oak Park where she roomed with Virginia (Landers) Hoyt., who would become not only a lifelong friend but the link to Neva’s future husband. Virginia’s beau, Robert Hoyt, brought his friend, Ralph Bateman, from Elburn to double date with Neva. The two young men made regular trips to Oak Park to court the two young teachers. On March 27, 1934, Ralph and Neva were united in marriage in a pastor’s living room in Freeport, IL, with Robert and Virginia as their witnesses. They made their home on the Bateman farm in rural Elburn and for a few months Neva traveled to Oak Park to finish the school year. Though Neva was a "farm wife" she was never a "farmer". Her "fertile soil" was found in the love that created a home and tended an abundant garden, both flowers and vegetables; feeding all who gathered around her table. She canned and preserved the harvest and made ready for the next season with a greenhouse in the basement. Neva and Ralph were blessed with five children, two girls and three boys. Neva’s hands tended to the needs of her family while her heart kept each of them before the Lord in prayer. Her kitchen was filled with the smells of baking and one of treats that she made became her trademark, Brown Bobbies. Brown Bobbies were made with a special "mold" which was purchased from a street vendor by Neva’s mother sometime in the 1920’s. Shaped like a triangle they resembled a donut but were baked and had a wonderfully unique flavor all their own. When the children were young the treats were made for special occasions, dipped in sugar and kept in the "green can". The making of the Brown Bobbies has continued throughout Neva’s lifetime. They were often given as gifts and shared with her church family at coffee fellowship. Neva grew up in the day when letter writing was an art and she was an "artist". She had numerous pen pals and for years corresponded with her mother and sister twice a week. If a letter came today, a reply was sent tomorrow. There is a family chain letter that has continued for three generations. Ralph and Neva were of different temperaments however each had great respect and love for the other and worked together as a team. In all of their life together Neva claimed they never had an argument and as they grew old together they were like two trees leaning against each other. Like Neva’s "Brown Bobbies" their life was made up of equal parts of faith, family and work, sprinkled with the sugar of laughter and fun. After Ralph’s death in 1994, Neva continued on alone at the farm until a fall brought her caregiver, Tanya, into her life. They were patient as they got to know each other and in time a love that was deeper than care grew between them. Together, with the help of family and Tanya, Neva was able to spend the rest of her days in the familiar rooms that held her life’s memories. Neva was a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother who daily held all of her family in prayer. It was at grandma’s side that all of the children loved to share story time while Neva added the appropriate inflections and voices to each storybook character. She leaves for all the generations of her family a treasured memory of days at the farm.Amid the joys of her life were days of sadness and loss with the death of a beloved grandson, James; her daughter, Virginia in 1979 and her son Glenn in 1995. Neva drew strength from her faith, her family and friends and went on to once again find joy in each day. She was a longtime member of the Community Congregational Church of Elburn where for many years she taught Sunday School, served as a Deaconess, enjoyed the fellowship of the Women’s Guild and donated countless hours of service. She was also a member of the Kane County Home Extension.She is survived by three children, thirteen grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 2 great great-grandchildren: Alverna (Lee) Vaughn of Surprise, AZ, and their family: Robert Vaughn, also of Surprise, and his daughter, Elizabeth (fiance, Joel Williamson); Valerie Adams of Romeoville, IL and her daughter, Ashley; David (Carol) Bateman of Oregon, IL, and their family: Denyse (Don) Christensen of Elburnand their children: Kyle, Kaitlyn and Zachary; Christine Bateman (fiance, Tim Corey) of Hinckley, IL; Rowland (Stephanie "Stevie") Bateman of Elburn and their family: Kent (Lea) Bateman of Yorkville, IL and their sons, Travis and Ryan; Philip (Amy) Bateman of Elburn and their daughters, Anna and Melanie; Dan (Angie) Bateman of Kaneville, IL and their son, Mitchell; her son-in-law, John Greenawalt and his children: Michael (Virginia) Greenawalt of Plano, IL and their children: Jennifer, Jessica and Anna;Randy (Betty) Greenawalt of Little Rock, AR and their children: Jeremy, Jimmy ( his daughter, Katie) and Joey; Dale Greenawalt of California and his son, Danny;her daughter-in-law, Mary Bateman of Elburn and her children: Aaron Bateman of Cortland, IL, Amanda Bateman,Andrew Bateman (fiance, Nicole Gholson) (their, daughter, Hannah), all of Elburn, three "foster" grandchildren and their families:Crystal (Gary) Phillips, of Elburn, and their children: Jordan, Taylor and Caitlyn;Kim (Marty Donneley) Leal of Batavia, IL andTony Zmaick, of Ottawa, IL,as well as several nieces and nephews and a lifetime of friends.She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ralph; one daughter, Virginia Greenawalt; one son, Glenn Bateman; one grandson, James Bateman; one brother Clyde Bourne and one sister, Amy Heidenreich.A memorial has been established in her name to benefit the Community Congregational Church, Elburn. Checks may be made to the Neva Bateman Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family through the same address or emailed through www.conleycare.com.
VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be held Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005, from 4-8pm, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. Her funeral service will follow Friday morning at 11am at the Community Congregational Church, Elburn, IL. The Rev. Katherine Lawes will officiate.
Interment will follow at Blackberry Cemetery, Elburn.