He was a native of Polk County and a son of the late Noah and Alice Ledford Bates.
He was a well-known auto mechanic, served as Polk County constable for 25 years and was a member of Fairview Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Sophia Barnes Bates; his parents; sister, Bonnie Bates; and one step-grandson, Joshua Ownby.
He left behind to cherish his memories, his wife, Betty Rymer Gay Bates, of Reliance; daughters: Sheila Bates and Kathy Hughes, both of Reliance; sons and daughter-in-law: Michael Barnes of Reliance and Ricky and Denise Barnes of Cleveland; brother and sister-in-law, Raymond and Ethel Bates of Reliance; sister, Rozene Byrd of Dalton, Ga.; stepdaughter, Lora Ann Gay of Rural Vale; stepsons and spouse: Tracy and Beth Gay of Etowah and Michael Gourley of Englewood; sister-in-law, Nelline Decker and husband, Joe, of Reliance, Mildred Osbourn and husband, Jim, of Madisonville and Lula Mae Rymer of Tellico Plains; brother-in-law, Benny Rymer and wife, Mary, of Reliance; grandchildren: Leanne Sharp and husband, Andre, Chris Brown and wife, Rhonda, all of Reliance, Matthew Barnes and wife, Allison, and David Barnes, all of Cleveland; step-grandchildren: Jacob Ownby of Rural Vale, Felicia Gay of Madisonville and Chase Gourley of Tellico Plains; great-grandchildren: Cassidy and Chloe Haulk, James, Terri and Cody Brown, all of Reliance and Scarlett Ownby of Rural Vale; stepmother, Mildred Bates of Reliance, all of whom he adored, several nieces and nephews and the many who he loved and was proud to be “Papaw” to.
The funeral will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 15, 2013, in the South Chapel of Bordwine Funeral Home in Etowah with Pastor Steve Dills and the Rev. Bobby Rymer officiating.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, prior to the service.
Family and friends will assemble at Reliance Cemetery on Saturday for the 11 a.m. committal service.
If you are unable to attend, please sign the guest registry at www.bordwinefuneralhome.com.