Johnson's Funeral Home

435 West Beauregard, San Angelo, TX


James D. Gatts, M.D.

March 31, 1930August 29, 2019

James David Gatts, aged 89, died on August 29th 2019, in San Angelo, Texas. He was the third of four children born to Paul and Jeanette Gatts in Bedford, Ohio. He grew up on the family farm and his intelligence and hard work won him a scholarship to Ohio University, making him the first person in his family to attend college. After graduation he joined the US Air Force’s Strategic Air Command and flew jet bombers to Greenland, Africa, and other destinations all over the world. During his time at the USAF base in Big Spring, Texas he met and married Anne Mary Gray and together they were blessed with two daughters, Kathy and Julie. Jim was a man of many talents. After finishing his commitment to the USAF, he graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1962 and served an internship at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, TX. He then launched a career in medical science and research devoted to the protection and the health of others. As Manager of the Space Environment and Life Sciences Laboratory at Republic Aviation, he was honored in 1967 by the Aerospace Industrial Life Science Association as Aerospace Scientist of the Year. This prestigious award highlighted his many contributions to aerospace research, especially his work on the first NASA spacesuits. Later, Dr. Gatts moved to UCLA to research improvements in automobile safety and he testified before Congress on this subject. Jim found the culmination of his life’s work and his theories of human development in his greatest accomplishment: creating the transitional bassinet (Nature’s Cradle) for which he earned ten US patents. His prototypes were adopted at Stanford University and other hospitals, where they proved helpful for premature babies and they are still used to this day. Jim was predeceased by his parents Janette and Paul R. Gatts, his sister Mary Jane and Bert Capel, and his brother Paul and Ellen Gatts of San Jose, CA. He is survived by his brother Richard (Dick) and Barbara Gatts, his wife Adelina Gatts, daughters Kathy and Sam Cubine and Julie and David Kabel. He will always be remembered as “Bones” by his five grandchildren Coco and Brian Simpson, Kendal Cubine, Kacey and Travis Paul, Lauren Kabel, and Katherine Kabel, and his four great-grandchildren Johnny and Lola Simpson and Gwendolyn and Matilda Paul. Several of his family followed his lead to careers in medicine: Kathy Cubine, DO, Kendal Cubine, RN, and Lauren Kabel who is a first year osteopathic medical student. According to his wishes, Jim will be cremated and laid to rest with the Gatts family in San Jose, California. An Inurnment Service for Dr. Gatts will be held the week of November 25, 2019, in San Jose, CA, additional details will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Tulane University School of Medicine, the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (Ft. Worth, TX), and the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (Glassboro, NJ).


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James D. Gatts, M.D.

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