Claude L. Bates Jr., 89, of Golden passed away on Saturday, March 6, 2010, at the Circle of Life Hospice House in Springdale, Ark. He was born on Dec. 16, 1920, in Asher, Okla., son of Claude L. and Faye (Townsend) Bates Sr. He received his early education in Oklahoma attending the Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore and graduated from Konawa High School. After graduation, he enlisted with the United States Navy. He served as a Fighting Seabee with the 105th CB Battalion stationed in the South Pacific. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, he returned to the states where he attended and graduated from the St. Louis School of Mortuary Science.
He returned to Oklahoma where he married Helen Baker, on June 21, 1947, at the First Baptist Church in Pryor, Okla. They spent the next 30 years serving families in the funeral profession. They owned and operated funeral homes in Wilson and Bristow, Okla., and Chetopa and Edna, Kan. After retiring from the funeral business, they owned Bates Greenhouses and Flower Shop in Edna and Parsons, Kan., from 1975 to 1984. He was a member of the American Legion, Rotary and was a licensed auctioneer in Missouri. He was currently a member and trustee of the First Southern Baptist Church in Golden.
Survivors include: his wife of 63 years, Helen Bates, of Golden; two sons, Lee Bates, of Oswego, Kan., and Lynn Bates, of Alice, Colo.; three daughters, Becky Pierce, of Carl Junction, Belinda Barragar, of Parsons, Kan., and Alicia Treat, of Hindsville, Ark.; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one sister, Margaret Oakes.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday at the All Faith Methodist Church in Eagle Rock, with Rev. Woodrow E. Fletcher officiating. Military honors were conducted by the Navy Funeral Honors Program.
Burial will be held at a later date at the Pitkin Cemetery in Pitkin, Colo. Memorials may be made to the Circle of Life Hospice House, 901 Jones Road Springdale, AR 72762 or to the After School Children's Youth Program at the First Southern Baptist Church of Golden, P.O. Box 245 Golden, MO 65658.