Patricia Helen Gearin Bates - 1924 - 2018


She never thought she was particularly creative, musical or artistic, but she was. She never thought of herself as particularly clever, witty or wise, but she was. And she never really considered herself beautiful or smart, but she certainly was.
Pat Bates had all those qualities, plus some really good fortune, right up until the day she died, Wednesday, December 13, 2018, at home in McMinnville, Oregon, surrounded by people who loved her. She had been looking forward to celebrating her 95th birthday in a few more months, but the infirmities of age dictated otherwise. Her family held a private service Thursday at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland, where she was buried next to her husband of 65 years and their first-born son.
Patricia Helen Gearin was born March 27, 1924, in Newberg, Oregon, one of eight children of Dewey Gearin and Helen Hope (McGarry) Gearin. “Pat,” as most people called her, grew up in McMinnville and graduated from McMinnville High School in 1942 along with her sweetheart, John Bates, whom she married the following year during the height of World War II. She worked in the Portland shipyards while he served as a gunner on a Navy destroyer in the Pacific.
Pat and John went on to have five children, raising their large family in Oakridge, then a booming timber town in the Cascades southeast of Eugene. John owned and operated a shoe and sportswear store, and he introduced the Bates brood to a lifetime of fishing and camping at nearby Odell Lake at the Willamette Pass. For nearly half a century, Pat and John owned a cabin at the lake’s west end, where they taught literally dozens of grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other children to fish for kokanee, harvest huckleberries and treasure the Oregon outdoors.
Two trips to Ireland will always be remembered as highlights of Pat’s long life with John. And the lowest point, for both of them, surely was the loss of their son, Tom, who died of cancer in 1999. The same disease took John in 2008.
Pat’s survivors include two daughters, Jill Bates of McMinnville and Jamie Bates and her husband Scott Drawhorn of Largo, Florida; two sons, Dan Bates of Marysville, Washington, and Doug Bates and his wife Gloria Bates of Oakridge; another daughter-in-law, Eloise Bates (Tom) of Portland; two sisters, Marcella Montgomery of Corvallis, Oregon, and Marilyn Rolph of Fresno, California; a brother, Garry Gearin of Sacramento, California; and dozens of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to any hospice in Yamhill County through Macy & Son Funeral Directors, 135 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR 97128. To leave condolences, visit


Web Design and Web Development by Buildable