Raymond W. Bates

October 5, 1929February 13, 2011

Raymond “Ray” W. Bates, 81, of Evansville, passed away Sunday, February 13, 2011, at Parkview Care Center. He was born October 5, 1929, in Detroit, MI to Raymond R. and Oleafa (Schweickhart) Bates.

He graduated from Reitz High School in 1948 and served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves. He owned and operated Ray’s Marathon Service on Fulton Avenue, next to Kent Plastics, for many years. He also worked at Sunbeam Bakery, Vanco Beverage, and retired from Central Beverage in 1992. Ray was a long time member of The American Legion, Twin Towers, and River Bend Association. Ray loved the outdoors. He was an expert marksman and enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with lifelong friends and family.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Ray is survived by his son, Michael Ray (Kim) Bates; two grandchildren, Carissa and Cameron Bates, all of Shreveport, LA; sisters, Delores Decker and Virginia (Joe) Wyatt, all of Evansville; brother, John (Pat) Bates of Fairview, TN; nieces and nephews; long-time companion, Ren Hester, and her family, Brenda Nash, Pam (Tim) Attebury, Ron (Judy) Hester; and Ren’s grandchildren and great-grandchild. Ray requested no public visitation or service.

The family would like to thank Dr. Steed Jackson and the staff at Parkview Care Center for the loving care they provided. Special thanks are given to Ren Hester and family for the many years of love and care they extended to Ray. Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkview Care Center Activities Dept., 2819 N. St. Joseph Avenue, Evansville, IN 47720, or to The American Legion Funkhouser Post #8 “Special Donations Fund,” 6001 New Harmony Road, Evansville, IN 47720.


Raymond W. Bates

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Maizell Kloke

June 4, 2011

I'm deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Ray. He was a great asset to his family and all who had the privilege to know him. He was a fun loving friend , and was always there for his family and friends when needed. I'm truly a better person for knowing Ray. He was a part of so many good memories of the "Good Ole Days", and WOW! what memories we all can draw on from this wonderful friend. I've lost a friend of over 60 years, and it is the memories of Rays friendship that will give me peace, and I will always Cherish sharing life with such a wonderful and awesome person. Ray is one of a kind and will be greatly missed but never forgotten and will forever hold a piece of my heart. There is a verse I remember from years ago and it said, If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.
Love Maizell

Ginny Wyatt

February 24, 2011

Ray has been so many things to me: The big brother every girl could wish for; He taught me a lot of things… That big brothers are strong, and Little sisters need to be too, if they want to survive... That unconditional love and protection are free.

I taught him a couple of things too when he was living with us on Maryland Street;
I taught him to not make wise cracks about my cooking, or jokingly say that I sometime put too much starch in his underwear. He learned the food could get hotter and the underwear stiffer.

As Parkview’s Valentine King in 2010, and being nominated again in 2011, he stayed busy roaming the hallways with his famous candy basket and big smile, looking for votes.

Ray looked forward to the activities at Parkview and the January 20, 2011, “Kick Off The New Year Party” was special as we received our Hearts in Harmony Tee Shirts and enjoyed refreshments and a program. The picture (his last) was taken by a staff member that day.

Although he suffered a lot, he never lost his ability to joke around and enjoy the company of others. His friends were faithful. He never lost his wonderful sense of humor. His grip stayed firm as he told us goodnight and as we each said “I Love You”. He taught me that life is amazing, love is enduring, and family is forever. I will never forget my Big Brother and the love and friendship we have had. I will miss him most when I say “Remember When?” because he always did.

Dan Boyle

February 17, 2011

I'll forever miss going out back to see uncle ray and the boys in the back shed for all the love and laughs. I'll always be proud that he told me once "You remind me of myself when i was a young man."

Pam Appel

February 17, 2011

I remember Uncle Ray living with us when I was young and how afraid the guys in my 8th grade class were of him.

I remember helping to raise an alligator that he brought home for Terry. It ended up at Mesker when it got too big for its tub.

I remember going fishing with him many times.

I remember him shooting quarters too, Mike. I also heard a story about him shooting a cigarette out of someone's mouth.

I remember picnics out under the sycamore trees.

He watched out for Gregor (his nickname for Greg) when he was little.

I can't think of him without seeing him smiling or laughing. He loved life and loved to laugh. He will be greatly missed.

Dana Buttrey(Bates)

February 16, 2011

I'll never forget the boat races on the Ohio River. He made those some of my best memories. He also, had a character that was so lovable he'll never be forgotton.

Jim Alvey

February 16, 2011

Ray was a wonderful friend and we shared a number of happy times and trips with him and Ren.
Our deepest sympathy to Ren, Jen and Delores. We wish all of you God's blessings and comfort in your memories. Jim and Betty Alvey

Mike Bates

February 16, 2011

Other than the remarkably similar looks, which I can even see, going all the way back to both our childhoods, Dad passed on his love for hunting and the outdoors to me. He, along with Grandpa Bates, gave me the love and passion that has lasted me from early boyhood and still drives me today. Although I was never nearly as good a marksman, hunting and loving being in the country are the legacies he left behind in me. He could shoot grapes and quarters thrown into the air with a .22 rifle. True story. Many good memories remain of days when I was a kid and he took mom, and me to Burdette Park to grill steaks and bake potatoes and spend time fishing. And of a trip across the Wabash River on Dad's shoulders at the old dam to fish. I thought sure we were going in as he walked across those slick rocks. And of a late night spotlighting rabbits and shooting them with a .22. Oops! I was scared to death.

We don't get to choose the way we die. Dad dealt with some real challenges the last few years. I know that he is now healed even though the rest of us feel pain.

Darrel Bates

February 15, 2011

I always enjoyed the fishing trips and the times we spent togather. Good bye Uncle Raymond.

February 15, 2011

Our family has been friends to the "Bates" family for about 75 years. They have been and are special in my life. .
Our thoughts are with them at this time. Mary (Kilgour) Norman -Oklahoma City, OK


February 15, 2011

I worked with Ray at Central Bev. he was a great man and will be greatly missed.