NO VISITATION TODAY AND NO FUNERAL SATURDAY....SEE COMPLETE OBITUARY
John W. Bates Jr., age 88, of Fall River, passed away Monday, February 4, 2013 in St. Anne's Hospital, surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Muriel A. (McKenna) Bates, to whom he has been married for the past 63 years.
Born in Providence, a son of the late John W. and Ellen (Marsden) Bates, he lived in Providence until moving to Fall River in 1945.
A proud Veteran of World War II, he was a Sergeant in the 43rd Infantry division, 103rd field artillery. After surviving the shelling of the S.S. Calvin Coolidge, he went on to serve in the Pacific Theatre at Guadalcanal, Munda, New Guinea, and Luzon in the Philippines returning home at wars' end in October of 1945.
After additional schooling, he was employed by the Mason Furniture Company in Fall River and enjoyed 40 plus years rising from salesman to buyer, general manager, then vice president before retiring. After retirement, he was a lifeguard at the Boys and Girls Club in Fall River until well into his 80's, opening the pool for his morning swim comrades at 5:00 am daily. In his early career days, he relished advertising spots as the "Boh Beer" spokesman and other various venues.
John Bates cherished and appreciated family most of all in his life. His loving wife, Muriel, his children, grandchildren and his sister and her family, were the quintessential reason for his happiness and being. They were his greatest fortune. John inspired all with his exuberant passion for life, instilling happiness and joy in everyday events. His life's synopsis was to "always appreciate life; always understand it to be a gift, and never take it for granted." His passion for the water and nature was engulfed in his experiences with his family in fishing, camping and many days enjoying the beach at Westport Harbour.
In addition to his wife, he was a devoted father to five children; Gary M. Bates and his wife Maggie of Franklin, Steven M. Bates and his companion Patricia of Dartmouth, Karen M. Cournoyer and her husband Thomas of Fall River, Jeffrey M. Bates and his companion Robert Millar of Fall River and Brooklyn Heights, NY, Susan Boulay and her husband Kevin of Tiverton, one sister; Cynthia Pierce and her husband Walter, 14 grandchildren; Jennifer, Katie, David, Sarah, John, Shawn, Joshua, Rachel, Andrew, Rebekah, Elizabeth, Angela, Austin, and Kelsey, two great-grandchildren; Jameson and Madelyn, and many nieces and nephews. He was brother of the late Robert Bates and father-in-law of the late Caroline (Olson) Bates.
His Funeral will be held Monday, February 11, 2013 at 9:00AM from the WARING-SULLIVAN HOME OF MEMORIAL TRIBUTE at CHERRY PLACE, 178 Winter St., Fall River, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00AM in Holy Trinity Church, 951 Stafford Rd., Fall River. Visiting hours Sunday from 3:00 to 7:00PM. Contributions in his honor may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Fall River, 803 Bedford St., Fall River, MA 02723. Burial private.