Gwendolyn Bates

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Gwendolyn S. Bates passed away peacefully on Monday, April 17, 2023, at her daughter Barbara Busby’s home in Abita Springs at the age of 94.  Gwen was born in New Orleans and graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond where she met the love of her life, William E. “Bill” Bates, Jr.  They were married 53 years and together they had four children. Gwen retired from the Department of Children and Family Services where she worked her entire career serving families in need in Washington Parish.

She was a long-time member of First Baptist Church and spent many years serving others on the Bereavement committee.  She loved her friends in her Martha Sunday School Class.  After retiring, Gwen was active in the Civic League and the Delphian Literary Club.  She and Bill loved being part of the Roogeroo and GG krewes of MCCA.  They also loved to travel, especially with friends, and one of their favorite trips was one that Greg Genco put together that took them to Europe.  Since they had been married the longest, they were treated to a gondola ride in Venice.

She is survived by her brother, George Strait of Greer, SC and daughters, Linda Kay (Buddy) McElveen of Abita Springs, Joanne (Jim) Adams of Alton, Ill., and Barbara Busby of Abita Springs. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Cherie (Margaret) Sheridan, Megan (Josh) Busby, Jamie (Rich) Brantley, Charlie (Jackie) Colvin and Mary (Ben) Cassidy, as well as nine great grandchildren.

Gwen was predeceased by her parents, Marshall and Ruth Strait; her husband, Bill; son, William Robert “Bobby” Bates; son-in-law, Chet Wynn Busby; and grandson, William Bates “Billy” Colvin.

The family is so grateful for the loving care provided by her caregivers, Cassandra Magee and Chansonette “Pumpkin” Releford.

Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church (541 Avenue F, Bogalusa, LA 70427) on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from noon until time of service at 1 pm. the  Rev. Joshua Powell will officiate, and interment will follow at Ponemah Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Baptist Church in Gwen’s memory.