Mr. Wilmer (Bill) Ivan Bates, age 84 of Macclenny, FL passed away on February 20, 2019. Mr. Bates was born on December 23, 1934, to Warren and Erma Bates, in Franklinville, NJ. During college he joined the United States Navy, where he entered aviation cadet training to become a Navy pilot. While in the Navy, he flew P-3 Orions, Super Constellations, and Sea Planes. He retired after 21 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After the service, Mr. Bates worked as an insurance broker for several years until he was ready to fully enjoy retirement. His life was centered around Jesus and he loved his family and his church. He loved serving and helping others. His favorite hobbies were RVing, flying, Sci-F movies, along with watching Fox News and going to Chick-Fil-A. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother and will be deeply missed. He was proceeded in death by his wife of 34 years, Darothy Bates and his parents.
Mr. Bates is survived by this wife of 25 years, Nettie Ruth Burnsed Bates of Macclenny, Fl;
Sons, Gregg (Donna) Bates of Suwannee, GA and Eric (Sherrie) Raulerson of Glen St. Mary, Fl; daughters Wendy Susan Bates of Breda, IA and Sondra Kay (Tim) Nobles of McDonough, GA; grandchildren, Taylor and Parker Bates; 7 other grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren; brother Warren Anton Bates of the Villages, FL; and numerous extended family members.
A funeral service to honor Mr. Bates will be held on Monday, February 25 at 11:00 am at the First Baptist Church of Macclenny with Dr. Edsel Bone officiating. The family will receive friends at 10:00 am prior to the service at 11:00 am on Monday. His interment will be at Jacksonville National Cemetery with full Military Honors. Arrangements are under the care and direction of GUERRY FUNERAL HOME of MACCLENNY. 904- 259-2211
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made to the First Baptist Church Macclenny Youth Scholarship Fund.