Walter Terry Bates

Walter Terry Bates

Walter Terry Bates
November 29, 1946 – July 8, 2017
Merced, California | Age 70

Walter Terrence Bates, 70 of Merced, passed away Saturday, July 8, 2017, in Turlock, California. He was born on Friday, November 29, 1945, in Sibley, Iowa, the son of Dr. W. W. and Brownie Marvin Bates.

In May, 1965, Terry graduated from St. Mary’s High School, Remsen, Iowa; and graduated from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska in 1969.

On June 7, 1969, he was married to Diane R. Yokom in Council Bluffs, Iowa and to this union was born a daughter, Heather. Terry and Diane later divorced.

On September 3, 1976, he was married to Yolanda “Lana” Bustamante, his soulmate in Lake Tahoe, NV. Terry became a loving and supportive step-father to Lana’s children, Carrie and Patrick; and to this union was born a son, Christopher. They were married for 35 years. During these years they shared their love of the outdoors; camping and boating with the companionship of their dogs.

Terry served in the United States Air Force from 1969 until 1977, completing OTS at Lackland AFB, TX, and finished as a Captain. His service included a combat tour in Thailand during the Vietnam War. He was transferred by the USAF to Castle AFB in 1972, and lived in Merced County since then.

After being discharged from the Air Force, Terry worked in the Merced County Planning Department, later the Manpower Dept., and later was Auditor-Comptroller for Merced County for many years. In 1984, he earned an M.B.A. from California State University Stanislaus. He had been the accounting manager for the Merced County Office of Education. He was Director of the Virginia Smith Scholarship Program for the Merced County Office of Education. In this role, he was integral in the donation of several acres of land that became University of California, Merced. Terry happily retired in December, 2010.

Terry was a member of St. Anthony’s/Immaculate Conception, the Knights of Columbus as a third degree knight.

Terry is survived by four children: Heather Price of New Port Richey, FL, Carrie (& Hud) Harkreader of Merced, CA, Patrick (& Teresa) McCormick of Merced, CA, and Christopher Bates of Fresno, CA; 3 grandchildren: Dakota, Tanner and Nolen; his siblings: Bill (& Joan) Bates of Sierra Vista, AZ, Joe Bates of Oskaloosa, IA, Brownie (& Bill) Borrink of Atwater, CA and Bob (& Dr. Sheila Gamache) Bates of Indianapolis, IN.

Terry is preceded in death by his wife Lana, who passed away March 14, 2011.

Graveside Services and burial will be held Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:00 am at the family plot in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Oskaloosa, Iowa with Reverend John Spiegel officiating.
Visitation will be Wednesday, July 12th from 4-6 p.m. at Wilson Family Funeral Chapel, 1290 Winton Way, Atwater. Wilson Family Funeral Chapel of Atwater is caring for Terry’s family and the funeral arrangements.
Rosary will follow at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2988 N. Buhach Rd. Atwater at 7 PM.
A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, July 13th at 10:00 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2988 N. Buhach Rd. Atwater, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to New Beginnings for Merced County Animals, PO Box 1045, Winton, CA 95388.

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