In Memory

Marc C. Batiste VIEW PROFILE

Skip Morrow found this information for us:

Marc passed away on Feb. 17, 2001 in Seattle Washington.  He was 48 years old.  

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10/05/15 02:53 PM #1    

Susan Barnes (Gauntlett)

Fellow Classmates,
I am grieved to learn this. I loved Marc and his twin sister, Robin. Marc sat behind me in Home Room and was Mike Boy in cheer with us. He had an amazing sense of humor. I loved his quiet, gentle and kind ways. He loved golf and liked being out in the sun so he didn't look "pale". He loved to get me laughing so hard that I could hardly breathe!

Remember how he could roar on a microphone and it really sounded like a big game cat?!

Our 40th Reunion, I learned of Robin's death by suicide. I was so sad because I remember seeing her in 1974 right before she was about to go meet her fiance's
parents. She was absolutely radisnt snd was laughing about it being Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in reverse.

Thank you, Skip, for finding out and sharing the sad news. I am so sorry for the tragic news but I am grateful to have known Marc and Robin. I am richer as a person because I knew them for two amazing years at Sahuaro.
GOD bless,
Susiebarnes Gauntlett

10/06/15 12:37 AM #2    

Joseph (Skip) Morrow

Darn onions Sue!  I was OK until I read this.  Still a little shocked since I tried so hard for so many years to find him!  To finally find out from my other neighbor (Batiste's lived across the street) next door and then so long ago!  I found out about Robin from my Mother who went to her funeral and also commented about how pretty she was.  If you compare year books you almost can't tell it's the same girl.  Her two older sisters were both college grads and Airline Stewardesses for TWA, and if you remember those days, they were all about hair and make up and those uniforms.  That summer between those two years they took her to California and she went through an entire makeover.  Back in Tucson, Marc and I, with Robin and her sisters going totally girly girl with make up and hair do's, while we were trying to watch "Dark Shadows" and order Pizza from Michelangelo's.  I took Robin out to the movies often.  We were just friends, and she never dated anyone I can recall.  Marc was always around wherever she was, so most of the time he was there too.  This part I have never told a soul before, but seems I have to now.  Because of the Civil Rights thing then there were two times exactly, out of maybe 10 or 12 times we went to the movies, that we got a dirty look.  I was so stupid, and Robin was Robin and I didn't see a color.  It was "Funny Girl" for like the 4th time, she loved that movie, and I thought maybe we were being loud, or bumped into them or something, but she grabbed my arm and pulled me out of line and we went to the car.  On the way she told me it was a race thing.  No!  Seriously!  Are you kidding me?!  I was so angry and shocked and embarrassed and I don't know what, but mainly angry because they thought she was......and it hit me that they only saw black, and she got that, and it made me ashamed.   I said we are not going home, we are going in that move theater right now and if anyone had a problem with that well.....because I was  so much more hurt for Robin,  BECAUSE SHE WOULD NOT LOOK AT ME, only the ground.  We went back in, got popcorn and then made a point of walking as close to the front so as many people as possible would see, and she absolutely acted like she was with her cheer squad. Shoulders back, that sweet little smile, and nothing happened.  I tried to find the offenders without being too obvious but didn't.  Not even the movie could totally fix things, but we never spoke of it again, not even after the movie.  Now, the reason for the onions Sue!  The only other time it happened was at- have you guessed?  "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"!  You just really did not say that!  We were with a group, Marc was there, Mitch Shapiro ((anyone know where he is?), Robin and me.  Before the movie, it was uncomfortable in line, Robin was nervous, Marc was ready to explode since he knew about the other incident because they had NO secrets, Mitch was his back up and I was in front of them with Robin.  Because there were 4, 2 white and 2 black, 3 males and one female we got a couple little looks-nothing hostile, maybe just curious, after all, there was Tucson High, and it was this movie after all, but this was Catalina Theater, still brand new and white as wonder bread.  Saw the movie.  Today it is almost funny.  I actually did laugh a few years back, it is soooo dated it might as well be "Gone With The Wind".  I can never laugh at it again.  All went well, having a great talk about the film on the way to the car... Until...the parking lot!  For the first and only time I ever heard this in Tucson, came from a couple rows away so not seen and the scream by at least 3 voices, kinda young-" Nig...s!" sounded like Thunder.  I'm about 100% sure neither Marc or Robin had ever endured that.  Marc was too stunned for a second to be angry and then he just screamed back in utter frustration the only thing he could think of, which was the same first word followed by a YOU! He was completely and utterly hurt, depressed and wanted his sister out of the area NOW!  We left and went to the Pizza Hut by the school and had a really long talk.  About Sahuaro!  Being on the Cheer leading squad was Robin's greatest love.  Every one of you girls on that squad she just loved.  Susie, if you remember long ago I told you something about you and a song you sang.  Remember?   Robin was the one that first told me about how you were going to sing that song at school and how good it was and how she wished she could sing.  It was just then that all 4 of us realized how lucky we were to be at Sahuaro.  Where else would any of us, there that night, would have been given the chance we were having there- on so many levels.  That Rusty Spillers and the Moore brothers, Steve '70,,Danny'71, and Marc, Robin and I were all at each other's houses on a daily basis, truly was a blast!  I don't know how I'm going to tell Rusty about this now.  He teased her unmercifully!  I always thought she had a crush on him but Rusty was Rusty and he could make a coyote laugh.  Maybe you remember after the games better than I, as you girls always disappeared right after so this is probably old news for you. (Probably just refer him here.)  I truly hope more will share here as this has shaken me to the core.  What else don't I know after I left, since I would never see her or now, him, ever again after 1972.  Come game night, Robin was always ready first and in the back yard practicing and hounding us to hurry.  There are so many stories to tell about Marc.  He said he was probably the only black kid in the world shorter than all the white boys on a basketball team and being the only "dark" one, as he would say, made it even more obvious.  So if Robin felt so accepted, you can only imagine how Marc felt.  He worshiped his team mates.  He did say, after a game once that at least as a mike boy he could stand up- referencing his time on the bench.  He never felt equal to the team as a player, but if the girls were nice to Robin, the guys on the team made him feel honored.  That was the word he used.  Otherwise he would have quit because he liked being a mike boy so much.  The idea was, if they were nice enough to let him on the team, the least he could do was try his best.   I never had heard that before Sue, I know my family didn't , about what she said about "in reverse" and the movie and the implications of what happened.  Now that I have that little tid bit of information that just cut my heart in two!  OMG.  Please forgive this lengthy message, but I thought you deserved to know that comment came from a much deeper place than a single flip comment-I think it had a whole lot to do with what really happened and why.  I only wish Marc was here so that he could have heard this!  He could never figure out why!  I know it would fill a big space about how he kept thinking it had to be something that triggered it besides the obvious.  I guess he talked about it a lot.  Thank you for sharing that, the next people to read this will be my brothers and sister who knew them just as well, maybe better, since I left for college and he would wander over now and again,  since both my brothers and sister went to Sahuaro over the next 6 years.  Those where the days when neighbors really were- at least on our street.  The whole family all knew the story of that night at the movie.  It was brought up and discussed a number of times-but never so their parents would know.  My Mom never told them either -but that's another story for another day.  If interested, let me know and I will tell you the story of Marc, my deeply southern mother, and his sun tan!  Rest in Peace Marc and Robin.  You were always more like the best of us, certainly never, ever like the worst.  

10/06/15 03:19 PM #3    

Sharon Graham (Stacy)

Thank you for sharing.  Your words support the will to continue the work for a better society.

10/08/15 07:26 AM #4    

Mary Holdman

Thanks for your words, Skip.  I didn't know Marc and Robin as well, but like you, I never thought about them being "different."  They were just our friends.  


10/10/15 10:15 AM #5    

Jim Blake

I was so sadden to hear of Marc and Robin's passing. Our junior year Marc played on the basketball team with me an I got to know him. I went out with Robin one time and was invited to dinner with their family. I was so impressed with the Mom and Dad and how they interacted with one another. After graduation I lost touch. Robin was one of the sweetest persons I have ever known and Marc was so funny. R.I.P.

10/11/15 09:54 AM #6    

Carl E. Lopez


Like Jim I was on the first Cougar basketball team with Marc. I believe Marc didn't play the entire season but he understood his role that Coach Mc Connell gave him .  He never complained.  I asked him what he did while he was on the bench.  He said he counted the people in the stands especially the 'pretty girls'.  The next year there was no one who rooted for the team more than Marc.  He had tremendous class.  

The last reunion he Showed tremendous courage.  People asked one after the other 'where Robin was' and he had to explain about her death.  He dealt with that so well.  It had to be difficult.


11/26/15 12:48 PM #7    

Dan Ferguson

So sad to hear this. Marc and Robin were both beautiful human beings.

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