Mr. Marshall Lee Bates – Valley Times-News


Mr. Marshall Lee Bates, aged 79, of Lanett passed away on Sunday November 28, 2021. Mr. Bates was born on February 26, 1942 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the son of the late Willis C. Bates and the late Marjorie C. Bates. . Mr. Bates attended and graduated from Winter Haven (Florida) High School. He also attended Polk Community College and the University of South Florida.

Mr. Bates married Cheri Pool in August 1969 in Boca Raton, Fla., And worked for various companies in the information technology field until his retirement in 2002. He served in the Navy and Reserve. United States from 1959 to 1964 with an assignment from 1960 to 1962 on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. While residing in Stone Mountain, Georgia, he was a member of the Peachtree Chorus and continued his vocal talents in various church choirs.

Mr. Bates was an active leader of the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of America. In addition, he was an involved member of the Lanett First United Methodist Church where he was part of the Men’s Club and served as the coordinator of the Wonderful Wednesday Children’s Ministry. His other ecclesiastical duties included being a Sunday School teacher as well as a lay minister with an assignment at Standing Rock UMC. For over fifty years, Mr. Bates was well known for his portrayal of Santa Claus in many parades and schools in the city.

Marshall L. Bates is survived by his wife Cheri Pool Bates; children: Audie (Tammy) Milner of LaFollette, Tennessee, Warren (Melanie) Bates of Richmond, Texas, Theda (Matthew) Joffe of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Nellann (Phillip) Johnson of West Point; grandchildren: Megan (Tyler) Baez, Evan Johnson, Garret Bates, Elizabeth Joffe, Reid Johnson, Tate Johnson, Victoria Joffe and Catherine Joffe and brothers-in-law: Kelly Pool and Tracy Pool, both of Birmingham. Marshall was predeceased by his parents and brothers Billy Gene Bates and Stanley Richard Bates of Tyler, Texas and his stepmother, Mrs. Billie Pool of Lanett.

The family will welcome friends for a visit to Lanett First United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 4, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. at the church after the visit. Memorial donations can be made to Interfaith Food Closet of Valley.

Reverend Rusty Williams will officiate.

For online condolences, please visit

The services were outsourced to Bluffton Funeral Services in Lanett.


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