DONALD KENNETH BATES, SR., 85, of Sachse, TX, born Jan. 20,
1931 in Aurora, IL to Benjamin Carl Bates & Marie Josephine
(Moisant) Bates, died Sept. 1, 2016. Burial was at the Dallas/
Ft. Worth National Cemetery.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Dorothy
Janiak of Ocala, Florida, Marion Lester and Ethel Grizzle of
Aurora, IL, and brother-in-laws Jack Grizzle of Aurora, IL
and Edmund Janiak of Ocala, FL.
He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years Lee Theresa
(Grant) Bates, five children, Theresa Marie Bates of Dallas,
Timothy Edward Bates and his wife Tammi of Plano, Donna Lee
(Bates) Baum of Richardson, Benjamin Grant Bates and his wife
Michelle of Humble, Texas, Donald Kenneth Bates Jr. and Linda
Houle of Garland, eight grandchildren, Carter Baum, Lauren
Bates, Kirstin Bates, Grant Bates, Nicole Bates, Courtney
Bates, Joseph Bates, Matthew Bates and Sachse, TX nephew
Michael Grant, his wife Ellie, and daughter Emma.
Don graduated from Marmion Military Academy, Aurora, IL in
1949. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954.
Following medical training at Fort Sam Houston, his initial
assignment was with the 1734th Air Evacuation Squadron, Kelly
AFB, San Antonio, TX. As an aircrew member Don provided
medical treatment to wounded military personal returning
from the Korean theater of operations aboard C 54 and C 97
aircraft. In 1951 he was assigned to the 33rd Air Sea Rescue
Squadron on Okinawa, Japan providing emergency medical care
to military personal in the region including surviving crew
members of B-29 bomber crashes returning to base following
their missions over North Korea. He was Honorably Discharged
Following his military service, Don attended St. Procopious
College and the University of Illinois where he received hi
BS Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1960. Don was employed
by AT&T's Western Electric Company and served in various
managerial and executive positions in Chicago, New York,
Japan, and Dallas. He retired from the AT&T Technology's
“Mesquite Works” after 30 years of service. He was also
as a consultant to the Army and Air Force Exchange Service
(AAFES) from 1988 to 1993. Don was active in city government
and political affairs having been elected to two terms on the
City Council of N. Aurora, IL.
Don was a past President of the St. Thomas Aquinas Holy Name
Society, Dallas. He is a currently a member of the St. Anthony’s
Catholic Church Wylie, the Knights of Columbus Council 12300,
and past Director and active member of Korean War Veterans
Association Sam Johnson Chapter 270.
Don was a loving husband, father, granddad and uncle, an avid
golfer, passionate patriot, international traveler, and veteran.
He and Lee traveled the country with their children and grand-
children to many of the USA's best treasures. He and Lee traveled
to many international destinations with family and friends.
Last year Honor Flight DFW honored Don and his fellow Korean and
WWII veterans for their service and sacrifices keeping our nation
safe with a trip to visit the memorials in Washington D.C., those
memorials which symbolize the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of
these American heroes. While Don & Lee had visited Washington D.C.
with the children in the past, the Honor Flight was quite a weekend.
Not only were Don and his fellow veterans honored by many Generals
and dignitaries, Don and his fellow veterans enjoyed dancing to the
USAF Force band tributes to the Big Band era.