Elvin Bates

Elvin Bates, a  Drew County farmer, carpenter, entrepreneur and the county’s oldest WW II veteran, died Saturday, November 10, a month before his 100th birthday.

He was born on December 9, 1918 in Ashley County to the late Earnest Allen Bates and Gertrude Florence Dingler Bates.

Mr. Bates’ hobbies included working at his sawmill and bee keeping. He was known as an excellent guest speaker to many high school and college classes concerning his tenure in the U.S. Army during World War II. He also appeared on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN).

In addition to his parents, Mr. Bates he was also preceded in death by his wife, Laura Roberta Haley Bates; three brothers, Marion Bates, Geral Bates and Alvin Bates; a sister, Sally Mae Bates Battle; a grandson, Wade Berry; and a great-granddaughter, Savannah Greer.

Survivors include four daughters, Kathy Berry and husband, James, Ann Scogin and husband, Larry, Faye Lewis and husband, Randy, all of Monticello, and Ruth Elvia Bates of San Leon, Texas; a brother, T. R. Bates of Monticello; three sisters, Hattie Mae Reynolds of Jerome, Cattie Mae Lemley of Dermott and Louise Robinson of Cabot; nine grandchildren, Rhonda Kay Berry Hatley and husband, Byron, Stephen Bonds and wife, Melissa, Laura Bonds Clampit and husband, Karl, Caleb Grissom and wife, Erica, Haley Groce Greer and husband, John Paul, Nicky Groce and wife, Lindsay, Carrie Groce Rampey and husband, Jonathan, Traci Samson Ravenscraft and husband, Parks and William Skinner; twenty-one great grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, November 11 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, November 12, at 1 p.m. at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home. Burial with military honors will follow at Oakland Cemetery.