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Opal Elaine Bates, "Elaine" 87, died from Alzheimer's disease, July 26, 2017 at Farmington Square Senior Living Community in Salem, Oregon. She was born in Walla Walla, Washington, February 24, 1930, to Mark G. Bates and Ollie Mae (Deweese) Bates. Elaine had 10 brothers and sisters. She was a graduate of Walla Walla High School in 1948. Elaine went on to Eastern Washington College of Education to get her Bachelor of Arts in Education degree and Teacher's certification in 1954. She went to Oregon State College where she got her Master's Degree of Education in 1959 and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oregon State University in 1970. She lived in Portland, Oregon until recently when she moved to Salem, Oregon.
Elaine placed high value on education and worked as a teacher in the Portland Public Schools for many years. Elaine used her Education degrees to become one of the first women principals of her time. Her favorite schools were ones that she could encourage students that were particularly struggling in life and in learning. Elaine was a strong and courageous woman, teaching by example!
While working for Portland Public Schools, she used her musical and writing abilities to create two productions, and with the participation of the music instructors of PPS and their students, both were performed at the Memorial Coliseum.
Elaine, her friend Alfhild Jacobs, and members of the Second Congregational Church joined with the congregation of St Andrews to form the Ainsworth United Church of Christ. She was an extremely active member of Ainsworth, particularly contributing to many social justice projects in the community. Elaine spent much of her time writing programs for the Central Pacific Conference and her home church events.
Elaine was a philanthropist for many groups and was actively involved in supporting Democratic politics. Elaine loved to travel and shared many trips with people who otherwise would not be able to travel. She was a Distinguished Member of the International Society of Poets and had numerous poems published. She was interested in family genealogy and was a member of the Bates Association.
As Alzheimer's began to ravage her quality of life, she was cared for by her niece Barbara Fuller and her friends Colleen Davis and Judy Eichler.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents and all siblings, but she is survived by hundreds of students she lovingly taught and mentored during her career as an educator.
Memorial Services will be scheduled at a later date.