Nov. 9, 1927 – Oct. 7, 2012
TORRINGTON – Donald George Bates, 84, of Gillette, died of natural causes on Oct. 7 at Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette surrounded by family and friends.
Donald was born on Nov. 9, 1927, in Gillette. He was raised and educated in Gillette.
In 1945, Don entered the military serving in the U.S. Army during World War II in Germany. He married Elsie Mary Olsen on April 7, 1950, in Harden, Mont.
Shortly after the couple married Don was called back into the service to Fort Eustis, Va., and Korea. During this time the couple had their first child, Donna.
After Don’s honorable discharge, the family returned to Gillette, where their second child, Donald David, was born. The family lived in different towns throughout the state where Don worked at various jobs, providing for the family.
Don and Elsie’s family was complete with the adoption of their third child, Gail. The family then made their home in Gillette when Don began working at Wyodak in 1958.
The family moved to Sheridan in 1976, where he worked for Big Horn Coal until 1993, when he was diagnosed with cancer and the family returned to Gillette.
Don was a lifetime member of the American Legion, VFW and NRA. He enjoyed hunting, camping and traveling. He enjoyed singing and was a self-taught guitar player at a very young age, playing for his family, singing in church choir and most recently at the senior center.
Donald is survived by her daughters: Donna (James) Foster, of Gillette, and Gail (Andrew) Layden, of Elizabeth, Colo.; brother, Scott John Bates, of Lead, S.D.; seven grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elsie; son, Donald; and brothers, Dick Bates and Jim Bates.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Friday, Oct. 12 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Gillette with Pastor Jared Tucher officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Pisgah Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion Post 42 and VFW.
Memorials are suggested to benefit the American Cancer Society of Wyoming, Gillette Relay For Life Team 29. Memorials and condolences may be sent in Don’s name in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, WY 82716 or condolences to gillettememorialchapel.com.
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