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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Condolence Booklet

Stacey Alley
   Posted Thu October 26, 2017
We work with your father’s son, Dick in Washington, DC. Dick always spoke very highly of his dad and shared a picture of his dad with us the day before he left to be with you all. The first thing we said was your dad looks so sweet! It was nice to read your write up about your dad and see how true this quick observation was. We are so sorry for your family’s loss and are sure he was a very special person.

Beth Brouillard RN
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
I always enjoyed spending time with your Dad at various times in past several years while he resided at McKay Creek Estates. He knew many people I knew from BMCC and the area "up the river" where I was raised, Gibbon, and Squaw Creek where my Dad had built a log cabin in the 1920's, that remains still as a skeleton on tribal land at Bachelor Creek. He said he and Mary had numerous drives and picnics there many years past, and knew exactly where our cabin was. His sense of humor and positive outlook was a joy to experience, and remained active despite a variety of health issues. Your family will be in my prayers for peace and comfort at this time of loss, he knew he was blest to have family and spoke adoringly of you all.

Ruth Fenton
   Posted Sat October 28, 2017
Mel was always friendly and took time to ask about my family. I always enjoyed contact with him...good hearted person.

Jan Miller
   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
Thinking of you and your Family.
Sincerely with love,
Janet Miller of Amber Valley, 1981-82

Kathleen Martindale
   Posted Tue October 31, 2017
Worked with Mel at the Employment Department. He was great fun to be around and I enjoyed his dry humor. My sympathies to all of his family for their loss.

Kathleen Martindale
   Posted Tue October 31, 2017
Worked with Mel at the Employment Department. He was great fun to be around and I enjoyed his dry humor. My sympathies to all of his family for their loss.

Helen (Crowl) Darrow
   Posted Tue November 07, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss, you may not remember me but your father was coach and teacher at Weston when I was in high school and I was your baby setter, for the three oldest anyway. I love both of your folks and I am sorry to hear of your loss. May God Bless you all,
In Sympathy,
Helen (Crowl) Darrow

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