Paul Bates, 94

Paul Bates, 94 of What Cheer passed away Sunday, January 14, 2024 at his home in What Cheer. Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 27, 2024, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the What Cheer Methodist Church. Burial will be held privately in the Highland Cemetery at a later date. Visitation was held on Friday, January 26, 2024, at the Holland-Coble Funeral Home in What Cheer beginning at noon with the family present from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Paul Junior Bates was born to Benjamin Cecil and Bessie Leona (Lester) Bates on November 19, 1929, near Gibson. Paul attended school at Gibson, Irish Ridge country school, and Deep River where he graduated in 1948. He joined the United States Air Force on September 10, 1950. His training was at Lackland Air Base, San Antonio, and Lowry Air Base, Denver. In May 1951, he was assigned to Neubiberg Air Base, Munich, Germany, for 18 months and then to Landstuhl Air Base, Kaiserslautern, Germany. He was honorably discharged on November 14, 1953. He began farming near Deep River in 1954. He met Linda Lea Koch at The Deep River Celebration in July 1955. They married on November 12, 1955. Their first son, Jim, was born in September 1957. They continued farming until January 1960. Their second son, Duane, was born in November 1960. Paul held many jobs in trucking, heavy construction, and agriculture.

Paul and Linda owned Gibson Hardware for a while, and later Koch’s Greenhouse and Flower Shop. He retired from full-time employment in 1995 and then worked seasonally for Crop Production in Gibson for several years. During his retirement, Paul also worked part-time for Holland-Coble Funeral Home. He was born to a family of 9 boys and 6 girls and was the last surviving member of the family.

His siblings were Eugene, Agnes (Hourihan), Ronald, Margaret (Tarvin), Gerald, Tom, Donald, Dorothy, Ned, John, Merle, Marlene, Verla (Tish), and Charlene. Paul was between John and Merle.

Paul was preceded in death by his wife Linda, his parents Cecil and Bessie, his 14 siblings, his father and mother-in-law Fred and Elsie Koch, and his brother-in-law Ivor Koch. He is survived by his son, Jim (Debbie) of Urbandale, son Duane (Kathy) of Bradley, IL, granddaughter Andrea Fowler (Brad) and great-granddaughter Aislinn of Madison, WI, grandson Greg of Dallas Center, sister-in-law Joetta (John) Bates of Grinnell, and numerous nieces/nephews and their families.

Paul was a proud United States Air Force veteran, a 50+ year member of the American Legion Morrison-Schrader Post 296 in Deep River, and the What Cheer Methodist Church. He enjoyed his family, his countless friends, traveling, woodworking, baseball, and playing softball in his younger years.



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