Billie Jean Bates

August 17, 1938June 11, 2021

On June 11th, 2021, Billie Jean Swanigan Bates, born on August 17th, 1938 received her God’s reward and her spirit was guided to her new heavenly home from the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley, WV. All those that knew Billie will remember her Christian faith, her kindness, her compassion and wit, and her willingness to do hard work. She began her life as a “coal miner’s daughter” and was a graduate of Fayetteville High School. She never left the hometown she loved. She went to work at a young age as a telephone operator. She was a true “working mom” and she served as a secretary/office manager for many local lawyers, doctors, county zoning officers, pharmacists, nursing home administrators and church pastors. She finished her earthly work career as the church secretary for the Fayetteville Baptist Church serving in many capacities. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Bobby J. Bates; her parents, Leonard V. and Arlene Swanigan; two sisters, Elizabeth (Mac) McNew and Connie (Murphey) Howerton. Those who will continue to honor her memory include two sons, Robert and Michael (Melissa) Bates of Fayetteville, WV; a daughter Deanna (James) Johnson of Lexington SC; and three grandchildren, Molly (Vernon) Farrell, Micah Bates and Marcy Bates; five sisters, Carol (Ray) Hurn, Susan (Bob) Singletary, Brenda (David) Potter, Polly (Dwight) Mentzer, and Debbie Appleton; a brother, Leonard Swanigan, Jr.; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Visitation for all the family and friends will take place at the Fayetteville Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 beginning at 11 AM. Funeral Services for Billie will begin at 1 PM with Pastor Jack Eades and Rev. Ron George presiding.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Bowers Hospice House for their wonderful compassion and care and Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home for their assistance in making final arrangements. Interment will take place at the Fayetteville Huse memorial Park in Fayetteville, immediately following the service. For those that wish to honor Billie’s memory, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Fayetteville Baptist Church – memorial Scholarship Fund be made. This fund assists the church’s college and vocational education students. Donations may be sent to the Fayetteville Baptist Church, 104 Ankrom St., Fayetteville, WV 2840. Online condolences may be left on our website at Arrangements have been entrusted to Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home, Fayetteville, WV.


  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 15, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, June 15, 2021

  • Burial

    Tuesday, June 15, 2021


Billie Jean Bates

have a memory or condolence to add?

Scott Wilson

June 14, 2021

Billie was a very special person to me. Strong, witty and very caring of those she loved. I will miss her smiling face. I can hear her say "Right on Scotty!" May her heavenly reunion be blessed!

Charles Wheeler

June 12, 2021

My family and I had the pleasure to work with Billie for several years! Billie was a lovely, caring and compassionate lady and I'm sure she will be greatly missed by her family and friends!

May God bless!

Sherry Johnson

June 12, 2021

Rest in peace, sweet lady. I loved Billie's kindness and great sense of humor. She was wonderful to work with. Love and prayers to her family and friends.

Lynn Todd-Vernon

June 12, 2021

Billie was a wonderful lady and my whole family cherished her. Iam not quite sure how she put up with Tammy and I running through the office but she did! Our thoughts and prayers are with Bobby, Mike, Deanna and all of the family!

Lynn Todd Vernon

Edith Sparks

June 12, 2021

Deepest sympathy to my cousins in the loss of their mother. Billie was a wonderful lady. I have wonderful memories of this sweet lady. Sending my love. Edith

Sharon Chaffins first cousin's wife Chaffins

June 12, 2021

Billie's smile always welcoming everyone,I can hear her soft voice and laugh. God has welcomed her into heaven and we will see her again one day. We're so sad for her family and friend's during this time..

Stephanie Johnson

June 11, 2021

Rest In Peace Mrs. Bates. You were one of the kindest and most welcoming ladies I knew in Fayetteville. You will be missed very much. ❤️