GORDON W. BATES | SEPT. 26, 1924 — FEB. 24, 2014

Crown Point man will be missed by many

2014-03-15T00:00:00Z Crown Point man will be missed by manyCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 15, 2014 12:00 am  • 

It would be hard to top the civic nature that Gordon Bates bestowed on his community.

That virtue helped usher in the construction of St. Anthony Medical Center in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

"He was very proud of being a part of that," said his wife, Shirley Forney-Bates, adding that he was co-chairman of the fundraising committee to build the hospital.

Gordon W. Bates, 89, of Crown Point, died Feb. 24.

He also was a past president of the St. Anthony Medical Center Community Advisory Board.

During World War II, Bates was a paratrooper in the Army Airborne 503rd Regiment.

"He made 10 jumps," including into Corregidor, Forney-Bates said.

After the war he served in the Army Reserve for 14 years.

Bates was thrilled as he took off from Midway International Airport before dawn one day in June with other WWII veterans on a special Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

They spent the day touring the city, including the WWII Memorial, his wife said.

As they landed back in Chicago around midnight, they were welcomed home by more than 1,000 friends and relatives waiving American flags.

Forney-Bates recalled how each veteran walked from the plane and shook the hands of admiring people.

Bates, who was co-owner of Fleming, Bates & Barber Insurance Inc., was a true family man who put his four grandsons through college.

He also played golf at Youche Country Club as often as possible. He was known for ordering a half turkey sandwich and a cup of soup there.

The girls automatically knew what he was going to order, Forney-Bates said with a laugh.

"He cared for everybody in general," his wife said.

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