Billy John Bates Obituary

It is with profound sadness that the family of Billy John Bates, age 88, of Mena, AR announce that he passed away Saturday, July 30th surrounded by his loving family.


Bill was born November 20th, 1933 to Luther and Vida Esther Bates in Black Springs, AR. He was well known as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses having dedicated his life and been baptized on January 2, 1971. He treasured his relationship with his heavenly father, Jehovah, and spent much time teaching his children about Jehovah and sharing his faith with others.


Bill married his beloved wife, Wanda, on March 28th, 1959 and together they raised five children. Bill was a very hard worker, dedicated and determined to provide for his family. He worked as a mechanic here in Mena, operated heavy equipment in the copper mines of Arizona, sold sewing machines in Kansas, and performed various other jobs along the way. But eventually the family returned to Mena, and Bill started his career of drilling water wells.


Bill enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life, including cars, drag racing, gardening, spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and playing music. Bill learned to play the guitar at an early age, but was in later years better known for his fiddling. He passed this love of music on to his children and grandchildren, all of whom have wonderful memories of listening to Bill play and sing with his son, Steve, his cousin, Billie, and many other friends along the way. If you knew Bill, you know he also loved his westerns, and could often be found watching them with his beloved dog, Little Odie.


Bill was a generous and loyal friend, an entertainer, and often told wonderful stories about his life and history. He was full of advice, whether solicited or not. He was a loving grandfather, and he will never be forgotten but forever remembered and missed by his family and friends.


Bill was survived by his wife, Wanda, his son Steve (wife Kim, children Brandon, Kaylyn, and Kyle); daughter Brenda (husband Michael, children Stacie, Amber, Chelsea, and Celorah) daughter Aneta (husband Duane, children Drew and Aubrey) daughter Linda (husband Chad, children Trace and Dylan) and son, Mark (wife Liz, children Danielle, Katie, Lane, Walker, and Gray) a sister, Kathleen Herndon, and thirteen great-children.


Memorial services for Bill will be held Saturday, August 13th at 2:00 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 1509 S Reine St., Mena, AR 71953.


8-11-22 12:05 PM KAWX.ORG