Mr. Wilbur Harvey Bates, age 92, of Lake City, Florida passed away on June 18, 2021 at his home. He was born on Feb. 25, 1929 in Altoona, Florida. Wilbur grew up in Altoona, Florida and graduated from Umatilla High School. He attended the University of Florida and earned a Bachelor Degree in Forestry in 1950 and later earned a Master’s Degree in Theology in 1956 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Lake City in 1957. He pastored 7 churches in the Beulah Baptist Association and served 41 years in the ministry. He joined the U.S Army in 1951 and became an Army veteran of the Korean War. He met Mary Ellen Chaney in December of 1952 and they were married on April 26, 1953. They recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Norma Price Bates, his daughter, Kathleen Ellen Bates of Lake Butler, siblings, Evelyn Andrews. Grover Bates, Inez Galloway, Alfred Bates, Lois Haines and Marjorie Chatham. Wilbur is survived by his wife, Ellen Chaney Bates of Lake City, Fla.: three sons, Wilbur (Wil) Harvey Bates, Jr. (Rita) of Lake Butler, Florida, David (Diane) Bates of Palm City, Fla. and Joe (Angela) Bates of Piedmont, Alabama: grandchildren, Emily Harris, Haliegh Bates, Andrew Bates, Mindy Masters, Josh Bates, Kailyn Bates and Catherine Weathers: Eleven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive. A funeral service to honor the life of Mr. Bates will be held at 11 A.M. Thursday, June 24, in the Chapel of Guerry Funeral Home with Rev. Joe Bates, Pastor of the Union Grove Baptist Church, Cedartown, Georgia, officiating. Interment will be in Hopeful Baptist Church Cemetery, Columbia County, Florida. Visitation and gathering with the family will be from 10 to 11 A.M. Thursday (One hour before services) at GUERRY FUNERAL HOME, 2659 S.W. Main Blvd, Lake City, Florida. www.guerryfuneralhome.net
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