2012-12-20 / Obituaries

Leslie Bates

Leslie Bates died Saturday afternoon on Dec. 8, at County Villa Rehabilitation Center in Merced due to respiratory failure. Les was born on Dec. 16, 1921 in Fresno. He passed away eight days before his 91st birthday. He proudly served in the United States Army in World War II. Les was in the Army from 1942 to 1945. He was in Troop C-89th Calvary Reconnaissance Squad. He received wounds in action in Luxembourg in 1944. He was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with Bronze Service Star, and the Purple Heart. When he left the Army in 1945, he came to Mariposa to be with his parents, James and Ineta Bates. In 1947 he met Mary Jane Lozier at a Mariposa County High School football game. They were married in February 1948. They had three daughters.

Les worked for Herman Carter at his saw mill and became lifelong friends with his son, Everret. Les and Mary Jane moved to Morro Bay in 1952 and lived there until 1988 when they moved back to Mariposa to care for Mary’s mom Edith Lozier.

Les enjoyed fishing and hunting and came back every year for deer season to hunt with his brother-in-law, Gene Lozier. He was an avid gardener and would go out of his way to grow the largest banana squash, along with his large red onions. He worked for Walters Brothers construction company for many years. Les enjoyed helping with the Brown Bag Program and had made many good friends. He also enjoyed going on the gambling trips and having friends over for a barbeque with his secret sauce.

Les was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mary Jane; his daughter, Janet; and son-in-law, Gene Evans.

He is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law. Judy and Dennis Sheets of Mariposa, and Susan and Glenn Smith of Merced. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews and numerous friends.

A celebration of his life will be at the Mariposa Senior Center on Saturday, Dec. 29, at noon. Burial will be private. Arrangements are under the direction of Whitton Family Funeral Service in Merced.

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