Cover photo for Joy Bates's Obituary
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Joy Bates

July 11, 1932 — February 13, 2023

Gatesville

Joy Bates

Mona Joy Patterson Bates, aged 90, passed away peacefully at her home in the Coryell County countryside on February 13, 2023.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2023 at Scott’s Funeral Home Chapel.  The family will receive visitors one hour prior to services at the funeral home.  Interment will be at Coffey Cemetery.

Joy was born on July 11, 1932, the fifteenth of fifteen children, to Robert John Marvin (Bob) Patterson and Belle Moore Patterson in a rural farming community near Turnersville, Texas. By any measure, Joy led a remarkable life. Joy was profoundly shaped by her childhood on the farm during the Great Depression. She spoke fondly of the community spirit that characterized life at the time in Coryell County. She and her family enjoyed helping neighbors during the Depression, and collecting scrap metal and used cooking oil to support the military effort during World War II. Joy blended her concern for community with a strong individualistic streak. She earned a pilot’s license in 1949 at age 16, the same year she graduated from high school as her class’s salutatorian. She left Coryell County to attend Arlington State College.

On June 22, 1953, she married fellow Coryell County resident Don Bates. She and Don, a petroleum geologist and Korean War veteran, lived in Fort Worth (where son Brad was born) and Alice (where first daughter Shannon was born), before finally settling in Midland (where final child Robin was born). Don had a long and stable career as a geologist in the Permian Basin, and for many years Joy enjoyed raising a family in Midland. She became an active member of the community, volunteering with a number of organizations, making dozens of friends, and becoming an enthusiastic member of the local Democratic Party. Joy loved volunteering as a poll worker and knocking on doors and making phone calls on behalf of candidates. Her collection of memorabilia (not to mention stories) from six decades of political volunteering is unmatched.

Joy had a passion for antique collecting, selling, and (especially) buying. Few Saturdays passed without Joy visiting as many garage sales as she could. Her trove of “treasures” is truly impressive. Later in life, she and her sisters LaVerne and Georgia operated Sister’s Antiques in the old drug store on Main Street in Gatesville.

When Lyndon Johnson carried out his Great Society Program (which he, like Joy, saw as a continuation of the New Deal programs that touched the Coryell County of Joy’s youth), Joy enthusiastically accepted a position with the newly created Head Start Program. From a base in the Midland public school system, Joy touched the lives of hundreds of people through her work as a social worker and administrator. She taught basic skills to parents, ensured that children attended school regularly, coordinated with outside organizations to provide needed resources to families and children, held vaccine drives, and performed dozens of other needed services in her community. In order to further her career, she attended classes at Midland College and the University of the Permian Basin for training in a master’s of social work program.

Don suddenly passed away in 1991 and Joy retired from Head Start shortly thereafter. In 1995, she fulfilled the wish she and Don had created to retire in the peaceful countryside of Coryell County. By herself, she sold her home in Midland, bought a piece of property from her sister and brother-in-law, Georgia and L. V. Arnett, and had a beautiful home built on a bucolic piece of property along Cowhouse Creek. Joy was a skilled organic gardener and cultivated an impressive vegetable garden at the farm, along with a sizable fruit orchard. For the next two decades, Joy loved hosting massive family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Easter. Few things brought Joy more satisfaction than hosting dozens of family members. No visit to the farm was complete without gathering along the Cowhouse Creek for “weenie roasts,” camp fires, singing, skipping rocks, and enjoying the beauty of being in the country.

On June 4, 1999, Joy married Tommy Ross, and the two enjoyed more than 23 years of life together. She and Tommy lived a quiet life split between Gatesville and Tommy’s summer home near the headwaters of the Rio Grande in Creede, Colorado. They fulfilled another of Joy’s passions, music, by attending the monthly Pearl Bluegrass Festival near her home where, until recently, Joy was an active volunteer.

Joy is preceded in death by her parents, “Bob” and Belle Patterson, her first husband, Don Bates, and her siblings Pete Patterson, Bonnie Kilgore, Ted Patterson, Junie Williams, Oma Jean Applegate, Pug Smith, Bo Patterson, Bonnie Patterson, Vick Patterson, Mayme McDonald, LaVerne Bates, Joe Patterson, and Delores Ramsey.

She is survived by her husband Tommy Ross and her beloved sister, Georgia Arnett, both residents of Gatesville. She is also survived by her three children Brad Bates, and his wife Carol, of Midland; Shannon Berger, and her husband Kent, of Midland; and Robin Winfree, and her husband Keith, of Fulshear. She is survived by grandchildren, Ryan Myers (wife Diane), Lauren Miller (husband Jared), Brooks Winfree (fiancée Nakia), Lilly Winfree (husband Chris Durgan), Rachel Bates, and step-grandchildren Laura Jones (husband U. V.), Beth Taylor (husband Kevin), and Tyler Mowles. She is also survived by her great-grandchildren Maverick Sedillo, Aceleigh Sedillo, Azalea Conner, and Jared Santiago Miller, along with step-great-grandchildren Augustus Jones, Carmody Jones, Lachlan Jones, Harrison Taylor, Scarlett Taylor, and Dahlia Taylor.

The family wishes to thank Joy’s live-in caretakers for their dedicated service during the final months of her life.

In lieu of flowers, the family has designated that memorials be made to Boys and Girls Club, 2533 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX 76528 or Pearl Community Center, 2082 FM 1690, Gatesville, TX 76528.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joy Bates, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 24, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 24, 2023

2:00 - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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