Donald (Don) Eugene Bates, Sr. was born November 21, 1948 in St. Louis, Missouri to Robert and Mary Bates. Don attended MacKenzie High School and graduated in 1966. He also attended Oakland Community College where he met his wife. Don married the love of his life Marilyn Faye on December 20, 1969 in Detroit, Michigan.
Don worked, networked, and built a career in so many places and with so many great people in his lifetime. To name a few A&P, Keebler, Vicks then entrepreneur Mike and Dons Standard Service Station, Michelin, Merchants, Circuit City, Best Buy, Car max, and the Celebrate community. Don and Faye Bates moved into the Celebrate community eight years ago. It wasn’t long before Don became incredibly active in all things Celebrate, from being in the gym every day to working on many of the committees. He served on the Communications Committee for several years, acting as government liaison, where he was able to broaden the network with Stafford County officials and assist in the growth of Celebrate. Following his time on the Communications Committee, Don joined the Facilities Committee where he volunteered for six years. He served as Chairman of Facilities for two years. In March of 2022 he was elected to the Celebrate Board of Directors, where he served until shortly before his death. As a part of his Board duties, he served as the liaison to the Infrastructure Committee. One could ask Don about water retention/detention ponds, bio-filters, swales, retaining walls or the status of the community’s streets and sidewalks and he could almost always give you the answer. On the rare occasion that he did not know the answer, he would reach out to one of his many Stafford County connections. Don became friends with Larry Silver, who developed most of modern Fredericksburg. Don was known by many as the “Mayor of Celebrate.” Don is missed by his Celebrate friends and neighbors.
Don was lovingly referred to as Papa, and we always knew Papa Rocks. He enjoyed fishing, ping pong, golfing, arts, photography, and planning special games for his grandchildren including family feud, making special hand written notes, coordinating Easter Egg hunts with candy and money in the eggs, and we can’t forget his specially made animated cards on birthdays and holidays. Don will always be remembered for his character, charisma every time he walked into a room (if he did not know you or vise versa you would know him by the end of meeting him), his strength, commitment, his love, and his friendship. Legacy is not about what you leave for people, but the impact and influence you have on others. Don made a difference in so many people’s lives and we are here to celebrate a job well done.
Don ended his journey of life on July 12, 2023. He leaves behind his wife, Marilyn Faye Bates, of 53 years of marriage, two sons Donald Bates, Jr. and Sean Bates, two daughters-in-law, Carla and Tanya Bates, sister Brenda Eldridge and sister-in-law Sandra Teamer, brothers-in-law Larry, Leonard, June, and Grant, grand children Jasmin, Ebony, Carmen, Taylor, Tonie, Kaylen, Anthony, and Alexandra, father-in-law Walter Teamer, longtime friends Joe, Dwight, Mike, Keith, Ron, Duke, Rodell, Stan, Arthur, Bill and a host of many loving family members and friends.
Don is preceded in death by his father Robert Bates, mother Mary Bates, mother-in-law Ruby Teamer, sister-in-law Emma Teamer, cousin Wallace Brown, daughter-in-law Kioka Bates, and grandson Jakari Butler.
Thank you for all of the love and support during this time.
- The Bates Family