Bates Melvin "Mel"

Died: Fri., Oct. 20, 2017


Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sat., Nov. 04, 2017
Location: Burns Mortuary


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Music by The Piano Brothers


On October 20th, 2017, Our family lost an amazing man.  Melvin Lane “Mel” Bates, 90, surrounded by loved ones, passed away peacefully at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton Oregon.

 Mel was born in Spokane, Washington on May 9, 1927 to Lyle and Nellie (Davis) Bates.  He grew up in Opportunity, Washington and graduated from West Valley High in 1946. Mel served in the Navy for a year, before marrying Mary Lee Bennett in Vancouver, Washington on August 23, 1947. He then attended Linfield College, completing his education with a Masters in Education in 1960.

Mel and Mary enjoyed their four children.   The family lived in several towns in Eastern Oregon before settling in Pendleton in 1963. Hunting and fishing were some of Mel’s favorite pastimes.   He thoroughly enjoyed teaching and coaching at the high school level, in Lexington, Irrigon, Weston, Athena, Arlington and Stanfield.  Mel retired from the State of Oregon Employment Division to a life of travel and adventure.  He and Mary traveled to all fifty states, throughout Canada as well as Europe.

They attended countless football, baseball, softball, basketball and soccer games.  They were at graduations, concerts, recitals and plays.   If an activity or event included a grandchild, niece, nephew or cousin, they were always loyal fans.

Mel was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, his brothers, Ed and Cameron Bates.

He is survived by his brothers; Ken, Howard, and Frank Bates, and sister, Joy Casey.   Children, Dick (Cindi) Bates, Kathy (Lamont) Porter, Ron (Debbie) Bates, and Margie Bates.   Nine Grandchildren, Amy, Cory, Sheena, Vincent, Jefferson, Jordan, Cody, Jayda and Janelle.  Eight great grandchildren, Andi, Afton, Chloe, Kaylynn, Lucas, Simon, Boston and Carson.

Mel was a very caring, kind, compassionate and loving man.  Everyone who knew him enjoyed his wonderful sense of humor, he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

In lieu of flowers Mel requested a contribution to the charity of your choice.

Memorial Service will be held at Burns Mortuary, Pendleton, Oregon at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017. 

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