Ricky Don Bates, age 59 of Evant, passed away August 10, 2021.
Memorial services will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at Purmela Baptist Church, officiated by Dr. John Vassar, assisted by Brenden Hough. A one-hour visitation will be held before the service at 10:00 a.m. Ricky’s ashes will be returned to the Earth, being scattered on the very land he dedicated his life to working.
Ricky was born the oldest child to Roy and Rita Bates on April 2, 1962 in Hamilton, TX. He spent the entirety of his childhood attending Evant ISD, only transferring his senior year to Gatesville High School to utilize their work study program. It was apparent at even this young age that Ricky’s work ethic was a strong pillar of his character. After graduating in 1980, Ricky immediately went to work at The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, starting in Tennessee Colony and later transferring to Gatesville. Beginning as an entry-level Correctional Officer, Ricky worked his way up to a Sergeant and eventually to a Correctional Program Specialist. His nearly 30 yearlong successful career is best remembered for his strong moral character and dedication to the job.
It was early on his career that Ricky met the love of his life, Terry, while she worked as a Registered Nurse at Coryell Memorial Hospital. The two wed February 12, 1988 and shortly thereafter started a family. Ricky’s greatest passions, aside from being a dutiful husband and father, were farming and ranching, which he did wholeheartedly for 40 years.
The value of a hard day's work was not lost on Ricky and neither was the value of community. His willingness to help his neighbors was not lost on them, especially in challenging situations, like removing bee infestations for those who desperately needed it. Ricky also served as President of the school board for Evant ISD for 17 years in which he worked earnestly to enrich the educational experience for students, parents, employees, and community members alike. Furthermore, Ricky took on a leadership and treasury role at Purmela Baptist Church. The absence of his commitment to the church will be difficult to replace, but his unwavering faith in the Lord will continue to inspire those who knew him best.
Ricky is survived by his wife of 33 years, Terry Bates; his son, Justin Bates and wife, Ciara, and their children, Javi and Jace; his son, Cory Bates and wife, Devon, and their children, Bryson, Waverly, and Westlyn; his father, Roy Bates; his siblings, William Randy Bates, Rodney Arville Bates, Renea Bates Kirksey, and Rochelle Irene Ninteman, and numerous extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by his mother, Rita Bates.
Ricky was someone to look up to, someone you could depend on, and someone to be proud of. He wasn’t always the man to say, “I love you,” but he expressed his love with his actions. He showed up for you, he fought for you, and he went above and beyond without ever being asked for you. Whether it was as family or as friend he was someone you wanted to be a part of your life. And even though he is gone his legacy remains, in the memories we made and the love he gave.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Purmela Baptist Church in Ricky’s honor.