“Elder E Ray Bateman Of the Seventy,” Ensign, May 1998, 104
For most of the 36 years of their married life, Ray and Mira Bateman have lived away from their Utah roots—in California, New York, Colorado, and Missouri. “Because we usually lived so far from our extended families, our immediate family became very close,” says Elder Bateman. “Though we visited Utah every year, our wards have also been our family, and the gospel has been the center of our lives.”
A native of Sandy, Utah, E Ray Bateman was born on 20 October 1937 to Marlon Samuel and Mary Armstrong Bateman—the third of four boys. He attended Brigham Young University before serving a mission in 1957–59 to Toronto, then part of the Canadian Mission. Upon his return, he attended the University of Utah, where he studied general business.
While in college, he met Mira Dorene Odette from Monticello, Utah. The students married in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 11 November 1961 and moved to the San Fernando Valley in California. There Ray found success in business with his first job—working in sales with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.—and remained with the company for 32 years.
Serving as president of the California Carlsbad Mission when he received the call to the Seventy, Elder Bateman has also served as a Sunday School teacher, bishop, multiregion welfare director, stake mission president, and stake high councilor.
The Batemans are the parents of five children—three daughters and two sons—and the grandparents of nine grandchildren, eight living. “Our little granddaughter lived only nine days,” says Elder Bateman, “but it was surprising how close we got to her. We want to keep our lives in order to make it to where she already is.”
In July 1997 in the San Diego California Temple, the Batemans witnessed the sealings of their two youngest children to their spouses. “It was the first time in our lives that we’ve been in the temple with all five of our children and their spouses. We felt close to each other and to our little granddaughter. That was a great experience, a glimpse of heaven.”