John Bator

Obituary of John Bator

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John Stephen Bator, Jr. 69, passed away on August 8, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Cathleen Weghorn Bator, and a brother, Ron Bator. John was born in Utica, New York on January 19, 1954 to the late John Stephen Bator, Sr. and Irene Galka Bator. He received his Master's Degree in Education from the University of Missouri in 1977, and began teaching art at South Middle School in St. Peters, MO. He subsequently held several positions at the University of Missouri, including instructor in the Art Department, Assistant Director of the Student Teacher Program in the Education Department, and instructor for the Missouri Scholars Academy. From 1982-1986, John was Assistant Professor of Art at Lincoln University. After receiving his Ph.D. in Art Education from the University of Missouri in 1986, John moved to Frankfort where he began work at Kentucky State University as Assistant Professor of Studio Art, retiring many years later as Associate Professor. His administrative positions included Art Area Coordinator and Interim Chair of the Division of Fine Arts. He was a consummate "student's professor", who was committed to an open door policy as he mentored and advised many students during his tenure. He loved to teach, and students loved him. He served on numerous university-wide and divisional committees, including work on the Faculty Senate. A wonderful role model, John was a kind, thoughtful, and gracious colleague who touched many lives positively as an educator. John was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, College Art Association, National Art Education Association, and Frankfort Arts Foundation. He was included in Who's Who Among American Educators in 2002 and served on the Paul Sawyier Public Library Board of Trustees for four years. Known for his energetic large abstract paintings and also an accomplished plein air watercolorist, he participated in several exhibitions in Missouri and Kentucky, winning several Best of Show awards. In 1999, he was commissioned by KSU to create and paint a mural in Jackson Hall, depicting images and scenery depicting notable Kentucky African-Americans. Arrangements are under the direction of Rogers Funeral Home. In lieu of a service, friends are invited to share photos, stories, and memories here on his Tribute Wall.
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