Services for William Ray "Bill" Bates, 93, of Tyler, will be held on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at 2 p.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church with the Rev. Mitch Tollett officiating.
Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.
Mr. Bates passed away Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Tyler.
He was born Oct. 9, 1920, in Fort Worth to Minnie Curtis Bates and adopted father Elmer Bates. His father worked on the first oil well in the Van field. As a child of an oil field worker, Bill lived in cities all over East Texas, including Tyler, where he attended Hogg Middle School.
Bill was a member of St. Francis Episcopal Church and was Master Mason more than 60 years. He was a veteran of World War II
, proudly serving in the United States Air Force
as a B-17 Crew Chief in England.
Mr. Bates began his career in accounting for various oil companies. During his years with Ashland Oil, he moved to the Land Department where he managed Ashland's extensive lease holdings. When Ashland sold all of their leases, Lear Petroleum recruited him to manage their Ashland acquisition and develop their computerized lease records and division orders system.
He loved to play golf and had 4 holes-in-one. Bill loved woodworking and making things with his hands. He enjoyed fishing and hunting in his younger years, spending time with his dachshunds and traveling throughout the U.S. Most of all, Bill loved his family and loved spending time with his great-grandchildren, his "pretty babies", and taking them for scooter rides down the hall at Meadowlake.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Leroy and Charles Bates.
He is survived by his loving family including his spouse of 72 years, Bliss Mangum Bates; daughter, Laurie Bates Barham and her husband, Michael, of Tyler; grandchild, Melissa Schmoldt and her husband, Cary, and their children, Lucien Cary, Eden Grace and Ava Schmoldt, of Frisco; nephews, Brian Bates, of Buffalo, and Bill Bates, of Conroe.
Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at St. Francis Episcopal Church.
If desired, memorials may be made to St. Francis Episcopal Church, 3232 Jan Ave, Tyler, 75701.