Richard A. Bates

Richard A. Bates, 79, passed away on January 21, 2023. He was born August 25, 1943, to Helen and Ronald A. Bates in Kansas City, Missouri. He was raised in Kansas City and graduated from Westport High School in 1960. He graduated from Research College of Nursing and served in the United States Navy Nursing Corps as a Certified Operating Room Nurse from 1960 to 1992. His favorite tour of duty was on the U.S. island territory of Guam.

Richard married Elaine, his wife of 37 years, on May 3, 1985. After his military service, he was employed as a safety officer for Trans American Natural Gas Corporation. He retired in 1998.

Rich was a loving husband, father, brother, and son. He enjoyed nature, experiencing God’s beautiful creation through diving, fishing, hunting, and collecting seashells. He participated in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, serving as a search and rescue team coxswain and a boating safety instructor. Most recently, he enjoyed making and painting ceramics at his church’s recreation center.

A proud Eagle Scout, Rich was very patriotic. He disliked seeing Old Glory in disrepair, often commenting that a tattered flag was a disgrace to those who fought or died serving the United States. Rich will always be remembered for his love of God and country, dry sense of humor, and sparkling blue eyes.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Ronald A. Bates; sister, Bette Bates; brother, Gene Bates; and by his former wife, JoAnn Trujillo.

Richard is survived by his wife, P. Elaine Kaler Bates; sister-in-law, Marguerite (Victor) Vatzlavick; brother-in-law, Bob (Carol) Kaler; daughter, Anne (Sam) Benson; sons, Tony (Irene) Trujillo, Chris (Katy) Bates, and David (Ashley) Bates; former wife, Pamela Woods; first cousin, Art (Lou) Kaler; Craig Bates and sister-in-law, Kay Bates; Elaine’s children, Gloria (Robert) Barrera, Leonard (Jenny) Sherek, Martha (Gilles) Mirol, Charles (Karen) Sherek, and Lisa (Alan) Webb; grandchildren, Tyler Bates, Justin Bates, Gabe Bates, Melody Bates, Simon Bates, Erick (Yadira) Benson, Candace Trujillo, Dallas Trujillo, Janathan Haynie, Gwennaelle (Olivier) Denis, Cement Mirol, Justin Sherek, Kyle (Caroline) Sherek, Jade Webb, Matt Barrera, Catheryn (Jon) DeShaw, and Stephen (Sarah) Barrera; great grandchildren, Dustin Trujillo, Stephen Barrera, Samuel Barrera, Stella Barrera, and Leo DeShaw; and a host of nieces, nephews, his First Baptist Church family, the Elmore Bible Class study group, and many cherished friends.