John W. Bates Jr.

June 16, 1924February 4, 2013
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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.



  • Visitation Sunday, February 10, 2013
  • Funeral Service Monday, February 11, 2013
  • Funeral Mass Monday, February 11, 2013


  • Burial

John W. Bates Jr.

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Patti Brown Brassard

February 18, 2013

Dear Peachy, I just learned about Johnny. I'm so sorry for your loss. I was filled with so many memories of our families getting together when we were all so much younger. Johnny was always such a sweet man. My deepest sympathy to you and all your family.

Roy & Joan Boudria

February 13, 2013

Dear Muriel, we were sadden to hear of John's passing. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.


February 11, 2013

In reading Mr. Bates obituary his feelings about life were so wonderful and most people take it for granted but he didn't. It made me feel so much better today because I was having a bad one. He seems to have been a great man and I am so sorry for his passing. I do not know your family but I felt I needed to tell you this because it touched my heart. Sincere sympathy for your loss and may all your happy memories live on.

February 10, 2013

I was so sorry to hear of Johnny's death, Peachy. I remember good times when our families visited, all of us kids playing in your back yard while the "grown-ups" talked. He was a kind, funny man who will be missed by many. Love, Anne Marie (Brown) Gazdik

February 8, 2013

Muriel and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you during this sad time
Patti Loper.

Patrick & Nancy McKenna

February 8, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family. If it were not for uncle John's kindness I am not sure we would have even had a TV in our early years. Dad was very persistent and uncle John was very....well he was uncle John.

Jim McKenna

February 8, 2013

Aunt Peachy and Family,
I am sorry to hear of John's passing.It is never easy to lose someone close that we love. I know how much he will be missed by everyone. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Dana Sumner

February 8, 2013

My sincere condolences to you, Muriel, on your loss of a good man.I to, have lost a dear friend


February 7, 2013

Steve, Sara, John, David, and other family members, Our condolences for the loss of your father/grandfather. May you always keep with you the happy memories of his wonderful life. Love, Kerrie, Bryan, and Connor

Jack McKenna

February 7, 2013

Aunt Peachy and the Bates, although we didn't see each other often, I always loved talking to John. I think there was always some special kinship between us. He was a true gentleman, a part of the "Greatest Generation" that set the standard for all future veterans. Rest in Peace John. To Aunt Peachy and the Bates family may God Bless you.