John L. Bates…November 16, 1940 – April 27, 2016



A Memorial Service for John Bates will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Holly, Colorado with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating.

John L. Bates, age 75, passed away on Wednesday April 27, 2016, at his home in Granada, Colorado with family by his side.

John was born on November 16, 1940 in Holly, Colorado to Harry Leonard Bates, Sr. and Elizabeth Ione (Willis) Bates.  He graduated from Holly High School in 1959, attended Lamar Community College, and graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1963.  He was employed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service and worked in several districts including: Strasburg, Yuma, and Kiowa where he was the District Conservationist.  John returned to Holly with his family in 1969 where he formed a farming corporation with his parents and wife, managing 1000 acres of irrigated crop land.  In 1986 he returned to the USDA soil conservation working in several locations including, Lamar, Yuma, Fort Morgan, and Akron, Colorado until 1990 when he returned to the family farm after the death of his father.  From 1991 to 1999 he suffered health problems and was employed at various locations.  John was an original employee of the Lamar Wal-Mart until retiring in 2013.  During his life time he served on several agricultural boards including president of Prowers County Farm Bureau and Northeastern Prowers County Soil Conservation District.  He also assisted in the formation of the Holly Fire and Ambulance District.  John was Chairman of the Republican Committee with politics being a lifelong interest. John was a honest hard working person who loved his family and valued God’s creation.

John married Stella Mathis on December 29, 1958.  They were blessed with four children:  Kimberly Jo, Cynthia Lea, Jennifer Lyn, and Curtis Preston.  They were married for 30 years and then divorced and eventually reunited in marriage in November 2012.

John was preceded in death by his parents and only sister, Rhonda Bates.

He is survived by his wife, Stella of Granada; daughters, Kimberly (Larry) Meyer of Lakin, Kansas, Cynthia “Piper” (James) Fletcher of Holly, Colorado, Jennifer (Jerry) Steward of Holly, Colorado; one son, Curtis (April) Bates of Lamar, Colorado; one brother, Ed (Judy) Bates of Falcon, Colorado; 13 grandchildren, Nicholas (Claudette) Meyer of Kodiak, Alaska, Saeree (Kyle) Hunnicutt of Lakin, Kansas, Eric Meyer of Lakin, Kansas, Joshua (Jessica) Willhite of Portland, Oregon, Raquel (Irwann) Le Bouquin of Lanas, France, Kendrie (Trevor) Gregory of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, John Graber of Fort Collins, Colorado, Patrick (Ashley) Steward, of Sterling, Colorado, Sabrina (Phillip) Gage, of Hays, Kansas, Zoe Fait of Tucson, Arizona, Nikki Fait of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Austin Fait of Mirana, Arizona; 12 great grandchildren: Izaac, Izabella, Jordan, Kiera, Layne, Dyami, Gane’ah, Lonato, Ari, Easton, Tristan, Jackson, and Ethan; mother-in-law, Luella Mathis-Leach of Holly, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Judy Nordyke of Holly, Colorado and Allie Mathis of Vancouver, Washington; many other relatives and a host of friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church of Holly or Lamar Area Hospice in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.

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