Merle Jean Bates slipped away on April 4, 2022 at her home in Centralia. She was strong and independent like so many other women of her great generation. She was forever loyal to her family and friends who will miss her honesty, her humor, and her often unsolicited opinions.
Merle was born to Zack and Selma Ramsey on April 10, 1930. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert Bates, son Matthew Bates, sisters Helen Rohr and Dorothy Durrin, and brothers Cliff and Cleve Ramsey. She leaves behind her children Susan (Dave) Peterson, Eric (Cheryl) Bates, Mike (Sheree) Bates, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.
Merle loved the outdoors and could often be found in her garden where she taught so much to so many. She canned all she could so nothing was wasted, clearly a leftover from experiencing The Great Depression. Her knowledge and instruction on gardening, canning, and flowers will be missed.
Merle found great happiness and friendships in her work in the kitchen at the Centralia Middle School. Those friendships continued long after her retirement.
One of her proudest moments was receiving her high school diploma after months of college night classes long after her high school years.
Merle will be missed and forever in our hearts. Remembrances in her name can be made to the local Salvation Army.
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