FRANK BATEY, 42, a Palm Springs, Calif., man and an avowed homosexual who won a court battle to retain legal custody of his son after his divorce, died June 26 at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He had acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Five years of court battles ended in May between Mr. Batey and his former wife, Betty Lou Batey, who had violated a court order granting the father custody. She took their son Brian and remained on the run with him for 19 months before surrendering to authorities in Denver in 1984. The mother lost custody of Brian in 1982. She said she was afraid that her former husband's life style would affect their son.

JAMES W. GERARD II,

73, a retired Army major general whose wife, Jean Gerard, is the American ambassador to Luxembourg and former ambassador to UNESCO, died of kidney failure June 27 at a hospital in New York City.

Gen. Gerard enlisted in the Army in 1937, was commissioned in 1942, and served on the staff of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the southwest Pacific during World War II. He commanded a battalion during the Inchon landings during the Korean War. He retired from active duty as a colonel, then was promoted to major general in the New York National Guard before retiring again in 1986.

EDWIN O. MEYER,

78, the executive manager of the Virginia Press Association from 1942 until he retired in 1980, who helped persuade the General Assembly to pass a Freedom of Information law, died June 24 in Richmond. The cause of death was not reported.

Mr. Meyer was a native of Kansas City, Mo., and a graduate of the University of Missouri. He was editor of the Ruston, La., Daily Leader from 1931 to 1933, publisher of The Franklin News-Post in Rocky Mount, Va., from 1936 to 1941, and a reporter on The Daily Press in Newport News, Va., before joining the VPA in 1942.

EVELYN LEVITT,

67, a bridge player who was a life master with 7,800 master points and was a world master of the World Bridge Federation, died June 23 at a hospital in Wilmington, Del., after a heart attack.

Mrs. Levitt won North American Championships in 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1986. She represented the United States in the World Bridge Federation's Olympiad in Miami last year and was on the winning team of the "Women's Knockout Team of Four Bridge Championship" in Toronto last July.