Gattis Milam grew up in the Hazel Green community and started his athletic career playing basketball on a dirt court for New Sharon Junior High. He made All-County playing in junior high school but he also started playing for Hazel Green High School while still in junior high. He started on Hazel Greens basketball team for so long that people began to question his age eligibility. It seems that Gattis started for six years, but he was only nineteen when he was graduated from Hazel Green in 1954. Basketball was not his only sport as Gattis was also an All-County player in baseball. Gattis was always the catcher in baseball and his reply was, Robert and Vernon, my brothers, were pitchers and as soon as I could put on a glove, they backed me up to a tree and made me catch for them. 1954 was a very special year for Hazel Green and Gattis Milam. He was captain of his basketball team that beat New Hope for the County Championship that year and he was also captain of his baseball team that won the county championship. Gattiss outstanding schoolboy athletic career notwithstanding, it was his career as a baseball and basketball official that gained him the most fame. In 1958, he started his basketball and baseball officiating career. He called independent youth games and YMCA games until the winter of 1961-62, when he went active duty with the National Guard in Ft. Hood, Texas. Gattis took his first Alabama High School Basketball Officials test in 1963 and was an active official in baseball, basketball and softball until 1988. In 1966, Gattis was one of the organizers and the first president of the Greater Huntsville Umpires Association. In 1967, Gattis called behind the plate for a game between the Birmingham As and the Burlington Bees, a Kansas City farm team. Mr. P.S. Dunnavant was honored as Mr. Baseball during this event at Optimist Park and playing in the game was Reggie Jackson. In 1975-76 he was Umpire-in-Chief for Alabama, helping to coordinate accreditation of umpires for state tournaments. Over the years, Gattis called games in Huntsville for traveling teams such as the King & His Court, the Red Heads and the Harlem Globe Trotters. During one game with the King & His Court, Gattis walked out on the field with dark glasses and a cane. He had as much fun as the players. Gattis is survived by his wife of 47 years, Shirley Milam, and their children, Lannie Milam, Belinda McCormick, Annette Jones, Denise Milam, and Sandra Williams.