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Mary Lee Bates Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Mary along with Mel were like an aunt & uncle to me. It was fun to spend time with them at the Pendleton round-up and my friend, their neice, Katie...Read More »
1 of 29 | Posted by: Suzi Gordon-Yasi - Bend, OR

“Uncle Mel, Kathy, Dick, Ron, Marge, and your families. I feel sadness at losing a part of my family. But I Know that sorrow will pass, and the many...Read More »
2 of 29 | Posted by: Chuck Bates - Maple Falls, WA

“I've known the Bates family since I was a child. Mrs. Bates was a very honest, and nice person. She will be missed by all. ”
3 of 29 | Posted by: Mildred Willingham - Pasco, WA

“Dear Bates Family, Forty or 41 years have passed since I first met Mary. She was one of my professors at the University of Oregon when I was...Read More »
4 of 29 | Posted by: John C. Board - Helena, MT

“Dear Family, Mary was my mentor and friend. We worked together at BMCC to build from the ground up the library that is now a showcase of her...Read More »
5 of 29 | Posted by: Marjorie Hoeft - Ashland, OR

“Mary was a true friend, colleague and mentor. She was a quality person in every way. As her assistant in the library, side by side, for over...Read More »
6 of 29 | Posted by: Tony Svetich - Pendleton, OR

“We are so sorry that Mary is no longer with us. She was a wonderful caring and compassionate person. We will miss her. ”
7 of 29 | Posted by: Karen and Don Allen - Pendleton, OR

“Dave and I will miss Mary as will so many others who have met and loved her wonderful guidance for so many years. Our best wishes to her...Read More »
8 of 29 | Posted by: JUDY PRICE - ATHENA, OR

“Our thoughts and prayers to the Bates family. Mary was such a lady and will be remembered for so many wonderful things especially her kindness and...Read More »
9 of 29 | Posted by: Bettie Willingham Travis - Pasco, WA

“Mary Bates started me on a lifelong love for the piano and the flute in the summer of 1957. I got a bachelor of music, master of music, taught at...Read More »
10 of 29 | Posted by: Granella Key Thompson - weston, OR

“Mary Bates was an outstanding citizen and contributor to her community and her country. She left the world a much better place than she found it. ”
11 of 29 | Posted by: Brigit Farley - Pendleton, OR

“Dear Mel and family; so sorry to hear about Mary's passing. I have so many memories of times in the Arlington school library and how she always...Read More »
12 of 29 | Posted by: Pamela Wachter - Pilot Rock, OR

“We are all so blessed to have such a talented and wonderful spirit of a lady bless our lives. My heart goes out to Mary's family for there loss, but...Read More »
13 of 29 | Posted by: Staci & Andy Roberts - Pendleton, OR

“I will always remember Mary's radiant smile - especially evident when she was talking about her beloved husband, or one of her children or...Read More »
14 of 29 | Posted by: Barb Rehberg - Pendleton, OR

“We extend our deepest sympathy to the Bates family. We will always remember Mary for her kindness to our family when we first moved to Pendleton. ...Read More »
15 of 29 | Posted by: Susan Hilliard - Pendleton, OR

“What a wonderful lady and friend who strove to make a difference in this world. May you, Mary's loved ones, find strength in the love that surrounds...Read More »
16 of 29 | Posted by: Daisy Cochran - Oro Valley, AZ

“May God be with you thru this time of need and with you forevermore. ”
17 of 29 | Posted by: Clifford Bates - Burbank, WA

“Warmest thoughts and prayers are sent to the family. Your mother and father have always greeted me with a smile and they always seemed to be so warm...Read More »
18 of 29 | Posted by: peggy morris bronson - Pendleton, OR

“My prayers and thoughts are with all of your family. I remember Mary well from her years in Lexington. I am so glad that she and Mr. Bates were...Read More »
19 of 29 | Posted by: Dora Sue Davidson Viall - OR

“God Bless you Mary. You were like a 2nd mom to me. I remember the trip I took with you Mel and Marg to Yellowstone and Glacier and what a great time...Read More »
20 of 29 | Posted by: Linda Moll Russell - Meridian, ID

“Mary was the family unofficial ambassador. She and Mel made every effort to attend any family gathering: weddings, dinners, reunions, memorials etc...Read More »
21 of 29 | Posted by: Lora Bell Stram - Woodburn, OR

“Mary was a significant part of the 'village' that helped raise all of us Daubles. Mary continued to be a major influence throughout my life as an...Read More »
22 of 29 | Posted by: Darcy Dauble - Walla Walla, WA

“My prayers are with you all. Her obituary is very nicely done. I have always admired her passion as a librarian. Bless you all at this time of loss. ...Read More »
23 of 29 | Posted by: Pam Nelson

“I send my thoughts and prayers to Mel and family. I will miss my best friend. Mary had a heart of gold and I feel lucky to have known her. ”
24 of 29 | Posted by: Betty Ehlers - Vancouver, WA

“Thank you Aunt Mary for being a wonderful aunt. You always had an encouraging word. I'll never forget your visit to Crested Butte. It meant a lot to...Read More »
25 of 29 | Posted by: Linda Bates - Olympia, WA

“Mel, you and Mary were helpful to me as a young pastor. I am thankful for knowing Mary and the family. Remember the Living Nativity Scene and the...Read More »
26 of 29 | Posted by: Rev. Jay Warden - Onset, MA

“Condolences to the family of Mrs. Mary Bates, a wonderful person who started the BMCC Library where I work as a Library Assistant today. ”
27 of 29 | Posted by: Paula Martin - OR

“Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Accept our sympathy. ”
28 of 29 | Posted by: Jack and Beverly Carstensen - OH

“We will miss you very much, Aunt Mary. Our love and thoughts to Uncle Mel and the rest of your family. ”
29 of 29 | Posted by: Steve and Peggy Bennett - Boise, ID


Mary Lee Bates – born August 28, 1926, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on May 22nd, 2012 in Pendleton, Oregon. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 1st, 2012, at 10:00 A.M. at the Pendleton Vert Auditorium. A gathering will immediately follow the service, downstairs in the Vert Club Room. Disposition was by cremation and private inurnment will be held. For those who wish, memorial contributions in honor of Mary Bates may be made to the BMCC Foundation, or to the Scholarship Funds of: The First Christian Church, Altrusa Club of Pendleton or the AAUW, to the Salvation Army or any other charity of the donor's choice. Sign the online guestbook at www.burnsmortuary.com Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements. Mary was born in Ordway, Colorado, to the Reverend Dr. James Milton and Grace Allison Bennett, Mary was the third of eight children. Mary graduated from Vancouver Washington High School. She married Mel Bates on August 23rd, 1947. They enjoyed nearly sixty-five years of marriage together. Mary later received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, and her Masters in Librarianship from the University of Washington. Mary cherished her family and friends and was very active in every community that she resided in. Her love of music continued throughout her life, singing in, and directing many choirs. With her words of encouragement, Mary had a special ability to coax a singing voice from those who thought they had no talent whatsoever. She enjoyed playing the flute, piano and organ. She loved the arts and enjoyed many concerts, plays and other performances. Mary and her husband Mel loved to travel. They participated in a 10K walk in each of the fifty states, as well as in each of the thirty-six Counties in Oregon. Besides visiting every state in the U.S., Mary and Mel had also traveled to many Canadian Provinces and seven European Countries. Education was an integral part of Mary's life, teaching at the elementary, high school, college and graduate levels. Her proudest professional accomplishment was serving as the founding librarian at Blue Mountain Community College, and continuing as the Director of Library Services. She was instrumental in the development, growth and leadership of the library since the college's inception. She served as President of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, Oregon Library Association, Eastern Oregon Library Association and the Oregon Community College Library Association. She also served as President of the local branch of the AAUW and the Pendleton Women's Club and was very active in the Altrusa Club of Pendleton. Mary was also honored with being selected as First Citizen of Pendleton in 1971. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, and brothers Burton Bennett and Dr. Samuel Bennett. She is survived by her husband Mel, son Richard & Cindi, daughter Kathy & Lamont, son Ron & Debbie and daughter Margie, grandchildren: Amy & Jukka, Cory & Jennifer, Sheena, Jefferson, Vincent, Jordan, Cody, Jayda, Janelle and great-grandchildren: Andrea, Afton, Chloe, Kaylynn and Lucas. Other survivors include her siblings: Theodore & Vi Bennett, Velma & Hubert Sales, Dr. Stephen & Mary Bennett, LoraBell & Wayne Stram and J. David & Bonnie Bennett, and sister-in-law Marillyn Bennett as well as her numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.

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