Col. William L. Bates Jr.

March 8, 1921February 22, 2013

Colonel William LeRoy Bates, Jr. USMC Bill Bates, 91, passed away on February 22, 2013. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina on March 8. 1921, the son of Colonel William L. Bates and Ruth Hawley Bates. He grew up and was schooled in Atlanta, graduating from Boys High School and Emory University. He enjoyed the lively fraternity and sorority dances and parties of those days, and at Emory was a member of Kappa Alpha and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities and many student activities. He won a scholarship to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, and was studying there when the US entered World War II. He was commissioned in the Marine Corps in June, 1942, and served aboard ship in the Atlantic, European and Pacific theaters. While serving on the USS Lexington, he won battle stars for battles in the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and attacks on the Japanese homeland. He was a regular officer and remained on active duty when the war ended. In the Korean War he was a company commander in the First Battalion, First Marines, and fought in the Inchon Landing, the capture of Seoul, the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, and the fierce fighting in central Korea in the spring of 1951. He wears the Korean medal with five battle stars. Bates was awarded the Silver Star Medal for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in combat”. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat V, an Air Medal, and a Navy Commendation Medal with combat V. He is entitled to wear the Presidential Unit Citation with three stars and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. After the Korean War, he had many assignments, including two years in operations of the US European Command, and several years at Headquarters, Marine Corp, and the Amphibious Warfare College at Quantico. He was stationed at Parris Island, South Carolina, when he was promoted to Colonel in 1962 and requested retirement shortly thereafter. After retiring from the Corps, he returned to Atlanta where he worked for several years as a senior executive in a building materials supply chain, then a land development and construction business and then state government. Shortly after moving to Atlanta, he met and married the lovely Charlotte Starr Bagley. They were married in 1970 and had a long and happy life together. They enjoyed golf, bridge and the company of many friends. They traveled extensively in the United States and abroad. Charlotte and Bill were dedicated and active members of All Saints Episcopal Church. Charlotte taught Sunday school and served on the vestry twice. Bill was a lay reader and Head usher for many years and served on the Vestry twice, once as Senior Warden. They were a devoted couple, and her death in 2007 was a crushing blow. Bill remained active. He lived at Canterbury Court, a retirement community. He was or has been member of the Capital City Club, the Army and Navy Club of Washington, DC, the Atlanta Breakfast Club, Mariners Mutual V Investment Club, First Marine Division Association, the Chosin Few, State Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars, VFW, the USS Lexington Association, The Marine Corps Coordinating Council and the Marine Corps League. Bill was also VP and a Director of the Hawley Corporation, Board Chair Emeritus of the SE Credit Union, and managing partner of the SWAG Investment Club. He is survived by his daughter, Catherine Bates Coulmas and Dr. Michael C. Coulmas, his step-daughter Claire Starr Shouse, his grandchildren: Thomas Warren Akin and his children Ansley and Connor; Margaret Akin St. Philip, her husband Andrew St.Philip and their daughters; Sophia and Morgan; William Bates Akin; his brother James O. Bates and his wife Virginia Maurer of North Ridge, CA and a number of well-loved nieces and nephews. The body will be cremated. A funeral service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church at 11 AM, Tuesday, March 5th 2013. A reception at the church will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to send a memorial are requested to send it to All Saints Episcopal Church, Canterbury Court or a charity of choice.


  • Memorial Service Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Col. William L. Bates Jr.

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Sharon Little

February 5, 2014

I just discovered that Col. Bates had passed away. I worked with him in the Dept. of Corrections during the 80s & 90s. He was a great mentor and friend. I also had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Charlotte during time. I know his heart broke when she passed away. But now they have been reunited. Although it has been almost l year since Col. Bates passed away, I just wanted his family to know what a very special man he was. I was very blessed to have known him & his wife.


March 8, 2013

To the family of Col. Bates Jr:
My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Please accept my deepest sympathy. May the God of Peace be with you. Rm. 15:33

G. Freeman

March 6, 2013

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Tony Pearson

March 6, 2013

Thank you for your service, sir. God bless you and your family. The gates of heaven are more secure now.

Semper Fi.

USMC 89-93

Vicki Gavalas

March 5, 2013

I worked with Col. Bates at the Department of Corrections 30 years ago. He was a great man. I rejoice in knowing that he is reunited with his lovely wife. To his family, my deepest sympathy. It was truly an honor to have worked for him and to have known him! Rest in Peace, Colonel!

March 5, 2013

Sympathy to the family and friends. Eccl.9:5.

Nelson Ross

March 5, 2013

Col. Bates was a dear friend of my parents, Rev. Frank M. Ross, former head rector at All Saints and Kitty Ross. In 2008, Col. Bates gave me a precious gift--a box of cassettes of my father's sermons which my dad had sent him. Col. Bates insisted we get them digitized & helped me do so. Growing up in All Saints and knowing Col. Bates would have been enough to always remember him fondly. But whenever I listen to my father's voice, I will also remember Col. Bates.

James Dalton

March 5, 2013

Bill was always a gentle man and a gentleman he was kind to everyone who was ever associated with him. God Speed, Semmper Fidelis! J.J. Dalton USMC


March 5, 2013

Mt condolences to the family of William Bates. May the God who gives peace be with all of you Romans 15:33

March 4, 2013

Bill. Enjoy your time with the corps. You will be welcomed.
Korean War Veterans Association
General Raymond G. Davis Chapter