Bona Jean Bates

September 2, 1930December 31, 2012
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Bona Jean Bates (Bonnie), of Ann Arbor, MI, died December 31, 2012 after a short stay at Glacier Hills. She was born September 2, 1930 in Mishawaka, IN, the daughter of Russell and Mildred Vance, who preceded her in death. Bonnie, Richard, and their three sons moved to Ann Arbor, MI in 1959. She was a stay-at-home mom for about ten years before being employed by the First United Methodist Church for two years. She then served as Secretary to the Principal of several schools in the Ann Arbor Public Schools for over 20 years. She will be remembered for her loving kindness of family and friends, her enthusiasm for life, and her faith. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church, loved music, gardening, sewing and cooking. She is survived by Richard, her husband; and three sons, Larry (Kathy) Bates of Bloomfield Hills, MI, David (Ruth) Bates of Fayetteville, NY, and Douglas (Kris) Bates of Ocean Springs, MS. She loved being "grandma" to her seven grandchildren, Jessica, Claire (Josh), Cameron, Ben, Kathleen, Mike and Liz Bates. She has three sisters, Mary Satterlee, Carol Endsley, and Sue (Fred) Barnett. She will remembered also by 11 nieces and nephews and many friends. She will be deeply missed. A celebration of her life will be held at the First Baptist Church at 512 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 2 PM. Friends may call from 4-8 PM Friday, January 4th at the Muehlig Funeral Chapel at 403 S. Fourth Avenue in Ann Arbor or on Saturday from 1-2 PM at the First Baptist Church prior to the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor


  • Visitation Friday, January 4, 2013
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bona Jean Bates

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February 9, 2013

Bonnie Bates was a lovely, enthusiastic lady who was one of the pillars of strength of the First Baptist Church. She seemed so lively, and always interested in the welfare of others, that it is hard to realize that Bonnie is no more. May God bless her and welcome her in his heavenly kingdom .
Thanks you, God, for the life of Bonnie Bates.
Bob MacGregor

Jane Dickinson

January 5, 2013

Dear Larry and family,
Your mom (and all of you) treated me with such gentle kindness, unlike what I had known before or since. She is beautiful in so many ways....for one, she was a seamstress of angels. I regret that I failed to contact her on my last, rare visit to AA. Deepest sympathy, Jane Burckhalter Dickinson

Keith Laughlin

January 5, 2013

Mrs. Bates was a warm, kind-hearted person who will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with Mr. Bates, Larry, Kathy, Dave, Doug and their families.

Susan Price

January 4, 2013

Dick, Larry, Dave, Doug and Families,
Bonnie's passing was heaven's gain and our loss. Your wife, mother, grandmother and so many other roles she filled in so many lives meant so much to me.
Susan Price

Betsy DePeter

January 4, 2013

Dave, Ruth and family - thinking of you with a sad heart at this difficult time. Hoping that the love of your friends and family is of comfort to you.

January 3, 2013

Bonny was the dearest, sweetest person I ever knew. Many will miss her.

Mary Mc Govern

January 3, 2013

My mom, Mary Mc Govern, worked with Bonnie for many years. She was instrumental in getting her a job in Haisley's office. They went to the Manchester chicken festival several times. Bonnie was a wonderful friend and will be missed by all!

January 3, 2013

Heartfelt sympathy to the family. My heart is aching at the loss of a very dear friend for over 50 years. Diane Etzel Bell.

Lynn Suits

January 3, 2013

Dear Larry, Kathy and the rest of the Bates family. Your mother was the nicest person I knew. She always took the time to greet me enthusiastically at the FBC even when I was flying by and forgot to greet her. Fond memories of the sea-plane parked in front of the cottage at Portage Lake before the not so fond memories of the whole church praying for your recovery. You are all in our prayers and thoughts during this sad time.