He was born on August 20, 1932 to the late Talmer and Gladys Bates. He was an electrician and worked at several construction sites, Fluor Daniel, Tennessee Electric, and Bays Mountain Construction. He enlisted in the United States Air Force, served four years during the Korean War, and served four years in the Air Force reserve. His hobbies were bee keeping, wood working, gardening, and growing iris and grafting trees.
Along with his parents he is preceded in death by, two brothers, Talmer Jr. “Sonny” and Joe Bates; and a little sister, Geraldine.
Those left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 68 years, Mary Frances Bates; five children, Debbie Cox (Greg), Kay Rhoton (Allen), Gay Bush (Mickey), Lisa Wagner, and Ralph Bates II (Melissa); several grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren.
The family will receive friends on Friday, November 22, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Carter Trent Funeral Home, Downtown Kingsport. A funeral service will follow with Rev. Rick Meade officiating.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at Holston View Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by American Legion Hammond Post #3/265. Pallbearers will be Jason Rhoton, Michal Bush, Tyler Lundy, Luke Lundy, Travis Bates, and Hunter Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be Allen Rhoton, Mickey Bush, and Greg Cox.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lynn Garden Baptist Church, 301 May Ave, Kingsport, TN 37665or to Shriners Hospital,Shriners Hospitals for Children Attn: Office of Development 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607.
To express condolences to the family please visit www.cartertrent.com
Carter Trent Funeral Home, Downtown Kingsport is serving the Bates Family.