James M. Bates, 68, of Milam, passed away Monday, July 26, 2010 at his residence. Funeral services to remember his life will be at 2 p.m. Friday, July 30 at the Calvary Baptist Church in Deweyville. Officiating will be John Fortenberry, pastor of the church. Interment will follow in the Lowes Chapel Cemetery in Milam. A gathering of family and friends will be from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Born on July 23, 1942 in Jasper to his parents, Eura Aaron Bates and Mildred (Hollis) Bates, he was a longtime resident of the Orange area. He moved to Milam eight years ago. Mr. Bates worked as a lab supervisor for the DuPont Sabine River Works Plant in Orange for 40 years and he retired in 2001. Mr. Bates was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Hemphill. He was a Special Olympics coach and a foster parent. He enjoyed fishing for catfish, hunting on his deer lease in West Texas and was a Nascar Fan. James enjoyed gardening and woodworking, and going for walks in the morning near his home. He was a loving husband, father and paw paw to his family and will be remembered by many friends.
Mr. Bates is preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Charlotte Bates; sister, Mary Hall; and brother, Bill Bates.

Those who will most cherish his memory are his loving wife of 23 years, Annie Bates; sons, Ryan Bates and Greg Bates and wife Carmie; daughter, Sandy Wagoner and husband, Scott; his grandchildren, Colton and Carla Bates, Matthew and Katie Wagoner; and his lifelong friends, Margie and James West.

The family wishes to thank the following people who assisted with the care of Mr. Bates: Dr. Jay Schachner, the nurses, staff and Cathy LaMaster of Texas Oncology in Beaumont; Eddie Jean Stephenson; the friends from Old Laurel Baptist Church; John and Sybil Fortenberry of Calvary Baptist Church; First United Methodist Church of Hemphill; friends and neighbors of the Alpine Marina Subdivision; Coach Tommy Hall and family for helping with Ryan during his father’s illness; and Lakes Area Hospice.

For those desiring memorial contributions, please make a donation in memory of Mr. Bates to any area Hospice organization.

Honoring Mr. Bates as pallbearers will be James West, George Kidwell, Jim Hennigan, Jerry Nicks, Ray Matthews and Mike George.

Services are under the direction of Dorman Funeral Home in Orange.