Kellye G. Bates
December 31, 1968 – June 14, 2019
Everyone knew Kellye Bates was exceptional—in her love, her faith, her kindness, her actions, the words she spoke and wrote and the way she treated others. Her faith in God, hope of salvation and love for her family endures. Her passions were her faith, her family, her church, the law, OU football and Thunder basketball. Her life was a reflection of her Savior and she lived to lead others to Him.
Kellye Gay Fine was born December 31, 1968 in Tulsa. Shortly after, she was adopted by Bill and Jenelle Fine, the parents she loved and adored. She stepped into God’s arms early Friday, June14, 2019 after a courageous four year battle with breast cancer. She was in her own bed in the home she loved and that was her decorating masterpiece.
Kellye was a proud lifelong resident of Oklahoma City. She was a 1987 graduate of Putnam City West High School. She was valedictorian of her class at Oklahoma City University, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in mass communications. At OCU College of Law, Kellye was a merit scholar, law review member, outstanding property law student, received multiple Am. Jur. Awards and graduated in the top five of her class.
Kellye and Tom met in undergraduate classes at OCU and married July 29, 1989 following their sophomore year. Andy was born during their second year of law school, and Billy was born three years later.
No one wondered about Kellye’s priorities. Though she was a talented attorney, her faith, family and relationships were far more important. She was a wonderful and beloved mother who loved to watch her sons play sports. They played multiple sports in elementary school. She never missed a game and was a devoted team mom. When they got to high school at Putnam City North she never missed one of Andy’s football games or Billy’s baseball games. She was a vocal supporter of her boys and wasn’t above questioning a referee’s call when she felt an injustice had occurred. These last three years, she made every U.S. Grant football game where Andy is a coach. She loved her sons’ friends and enjoyed having them in her home.
She was a ‘Boys’ Mom,’ but she loved the girls in the church youth group and enjoyed hosting them for overnight parties. Tom and Kellye taught the youth Sunday school class, and she loved to support them at their events too.
For more than a decade, Kellye led two in-depth women’s Bible study groups every year at church. She always told the ladies that Tuesdays were her favorite because she loved spending time with them. She was just as excited about attending worship on Sunday mornings. Kellye became a believer as a youth and loved lifelong friends made at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. For the last 25 years, she worshipped at Putnam City United Methodist Church.
At the beginning of her law career, she worked for a small firm and specialized in wills, trusts and estate planning. From 1997-2004, she worked in the Criminal Appeals Section of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, followed by a stint at the American Cancer Society as a trust attorney. In the last half of her career, she returned to criminal law as a death penalty law clerk for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. She was a gifted legal writer and greatly enjoyed working with all the different judges on the court and their staffs. She truly loved her court family and was so thankful for the many ways they stood by her and supported her during her cancer battle.
Kellye is preceded in death by her parents, Jenelle and Bill Fine; her nephew, Justin Fine; father in law, David Bates, and brother in law, Steve Bates. She is survived by her husband of 30 years, Tom Bates; her sons, Andy and Billy and daughter in law, Jacy [Taylor); her brother and sister in law, Mark and Cheryl Fine, her mother in law, Elaine Bates, and brothers in law, Matt and Amy Bates, Phil and Patty Bates, sisters in law Leslie Bates and Burneele Bates; many nieces and nephews, extended family members and as well as her friends, church family and beloved dogs Boomer and Rascal.
In these last years Kellye took great joy in welcoming Jacy to our family and was so thankful she was able to fully participate in all the events leading up to and surrounding her and Andy’s wedding. She enjoyed life’s simple pleasures and her idea of a perfect day was a fall Saturday, surrounded by her kids, Mark and Cheryl and Elaine, punctuated by a good meal and an OU football victory.
The family would like to thank Dr. Aleda Toma and Vicky Hutchens, RN with SSM Health, and Dr. Susanna Ulahannan at Stephenson Cancer Center for their outstanding care. In addition, the family appreciates the loving care given by Kellye’s large circle of friends from school, church, and work.
In lieu of flowers, the Bates family requests donations in Kellye’s name to Stephenson Cancer Center, stephensoncancercenter.org/ways-to-give.
The service to celebrate Kellye’s life will be Friday, June 21 at 10 am at Putnam City United Methodist Church at 5819 NW 41 St. Okla. City with arrangements through Guardian West, 5820 NW 41 St., Okla. City.
- Memorial Service Friday, June 21, 2019
Kellye G. Bates
Robert and Stefanie
July 5, 2019
In the summer of 1989 Tom called me in Germany to ask me to be his best man at his wedding. He told me that he just met Kellye a few months before, but he was sure that they were meant to become husband and wife. Tom and I became friends during our senior year at U.S. Grant High School in 86/87, I was a German exchange student from Bavaria, and spent a wonderful year in Oklahoma, probably the most intense time in my life. 30 years ago I had the honor and the privilege to serve as best man for my closest friend Tom with whom I share a strong bond of faith, trust, and friendship based on the same principles we hold important in life. I still recall the wedding day in August 89, Tom and Kellye were a great young couple, perfectly fitting together. We stayed in touch despite the Atlantic Ocean between us, I enjoyed watching the Bates family grow and in the year 2000 I visited Tom and Kellye in OKC to introduce them to my fiancee Stefanie, we got married in 2003 with Tom being my best man in Wuerzburg, Germany. Raising our family and keeping busy in professional life we could not meet as often as we should have- however Stefanie and I do warmly remember the wonderful moments we shared during our visits to OKC and Tom's and Kellye's visit to Germany. I feel ashamed today that I could not be with you at Kellye's Memorial Service last week, Stefanie and I were spending a week with our three kids on the Greek island of Rhodes instead. However, we will keep Kellye alive in our thoughts and prayers, we are so grateful to have known her with all her values, love, and intellect. We strongly hope that Tom, Andy, and Billy and all Bates family members will cope with the irreplaceable loss of a beloved wife, mother, mother in law, daughter in law and will find some form of solace in remembering all what Kellye stood for. With deep sorrow and love from Germany, your old friend Robert and Stefanie
June 30, 2019
I was blessed to have known Kellye and her beautiful spirit. God's love shown thru her and she was always an encouragement to those around her. God bless and keep Tom, Andy and Billy.
June 20, 2019
I was so lonely when I moved from California to Oklahoma. I left a large family of 4 sisters , one brother, and many relatives. Moving here not knowing anyone was rough. Then I met Kellye the sister I never knew. We first met when our boys played little lead football against each other. They soon joined forces and played together in middle school and onto high school. The Bates became an extension of our family and vice versa. One favorite activity that Kellye and I planned for each year to attend was “The fair of The Hearts”. We would get so excited wondering what we would purchase and who would end up spending the most. Each year I would tell Kellye that I could make (as well as other items I claimed I could make) this or that item. Of course I never had the time to. So Kellye finally said to me. “I will give you two years to make this item and if you haven’t by then, you must purchase it. Well I never made it and now this item hangs on my fire place mantel. I will miss Kellye’s laughter, long talks, encouragement , honesty, being goofy , and most of all her presence. Yes this is a big void in my life but I will concentrate on how blessed I was to have Kellye in my life as a friend and most of all as my sister. I love you always,
June 20, 2019
Condolence to all as you seem comfort in family.
and close friends, Let GOD continue to heal your pain. John 11:25
June 17, 2019
Love and miss you so much! You were the rock of our family. You taught me a lot, not by words, your actions. I watched you take care of your Mom and Dad and mother-in-law. I know you loved your family and wanted us with you on every possible occasion. You nurtured every friend relationship. And most of all you loved God. If I wanted to be like someone it would be you!