Ranger Exes Memorial - RJC-Faculty

Don & Lynn Bates DON GENE BATES, 71, of Wharton, TX, entered into eternal rest on Oct. 8, 2013. He was born on Feb 7, 1942 in Tenaha, TX to Oliver & Mattie Lou Bates. He passed away two hours before his beloved wife of 54 years, Lynn Bates, who was by his side until the end. Theirs was a true love story. Don is preceded in death by his parents; & brother, George Bates. Don grew up in Tenaha in a loving family. Don was an outstanding high school athlete excelling in football, basketball, & track. Don received a football scholarship from Sam Houston State University & majored in physical education. Don played tight end & played on Sam Houstonís 1964 NAIA National Championship football team. Don received his undergraduate degree and followed with a Masters in Kinesiology. Don married his college sweetheart, twirler/dancer, Lynn Rodgers, in August of 1966. His football coaching jobs took them to Hitchcock, Lumberton, Brownsville, & Wharton ISDís, as well as to Sam Houston State University, Ranger Junior College, and Wharton County Junior College. Don also worked in the construction industry, selling specialty building materials. He worked for Hungerford Brick Company for a few years and the last 26 years with R. M. Rodgers, Inc. (Houston). Don set an example of physical fitness as he ran the Houston, San Francisco, and Boston Marathons. He ran, worked out and rode bicycles for decades. He also won a State doubles horseshoe-throwing tournament. He was an avid outdoors-man who enjoyed fishing & deer hunting. He loved his time and friends at the deer lease. His legacy is that of teacher, coach, & friend. Whether in sports, business or life he enjoyed helping others. Being a mentor and role model was his gift. Donís sense of humor made him endearing to all who were around him. He will be missed. At the time of his death, Don Bates was survived by his sister, Sara Stupic (Cleveland, OH); and niece, Judy Schnelle and husband Jerry (Springtown, TX) and their son Justin his wife Patricia and children Ally, Hannah, and Ian and daughter Jana Lynn Whitsitt her husband Justin and children Tyler, Andrew, Stephanie, and Andi Lynn; and nephew, Michael Bates (Corpus Christi) and children Sean and Matthew.