Peter D Bates, 78, of St. Anthony passed away Dec. 3, 2019, under hospice supervision and in the loving service of family, having the blessing to express his love and tell each of them goodbye and impart counsel. He passed in the home he built surrounded by those who loved him.
Pete was born Sept. 14, 1941, in Driggs, Idaho the second child to Edwin Foster Bates and Ruth Sorensen Bates. He joined older brother Michael and sister Mary Lou ( Westover) and younger brother Larry, who passed away just 4 years ago this week. He grew up in his beloved Teton Valley learning to hunt, fish, ride and developed a love of horses, the forests, and agriculture. He lost his father young, but inherited his enthusiasm for the outdoors.
Pete was called to Military active duty when the Army Corp of Engineers were activated to aid in the Berlin Crisis in 1961.
He married Carolyn Rae Bates on December 28, 1962. He returned home to attend then Ricks college and Utah State University graduating in Naturals resource management and Forestry. He used his degrees to make a career in the Forest Service. His job with the forest service took him to manage the National Grassland in Sturgis, South Dakota, where Carolyn was a nurse.
He opened a machine shop there and invented several tools for both recreational and agricultural use.
After the tragic loss of his wife Carolyn, he returned to Idaho to be close to family with his four children Linda Rae, Kathy Ann, James Edwin and Matthew Ray . He loved the mountains and hunting and horses. Wagon trains and surviving in the mountains were his favorite interests. (Linda often joked that he was born 100 years too late but he probably did not have his paperwork in order in time). He was an expert horseman, teamster, and guide. He knew the mountains and could find a camp or downed game long before GPS. He had a career at The INEL as an expert welder, and farmed in Coltman on the Lewisville Highway.
It was there he became reacquainted with a childhood friend Linda Miller French. They decided to partner to raise his four and Linda’s four, Rena, Dawna, Amanda and Wade providing them with an agricultural background, active in 4-H, rodeo, draft horse club. He would laugh and say Eight is enough!! A late in life blessing occurred as Michelle Dawn was born to this union and became the weld for the entire family. He was determined to unite this family and if asked “which of these kids are actually yours ?” He would answer “All of them”. The family moved to Saint Anthony to secure a home that was new to everyone and big enough to accommodate the seven still at home and the many horses he raised.
He had a love for draft mules and bred and raised many excellent mules. He enjoyed breeding and judging rabbits. With some of Linda’s family’s Jersey bloodline , he developed a small dairy and exhibited them at fairs in and out of state. He loved Fairs!! He loved his family actively involved in anything outdoors or agricultural and with that many kids, and interests, he was involved in many different activities.
Natural Resource management was evident his entire life as even in his very last stage of life he had excellent recall of species and genus names. Once on a logging trip with the horses, a tiny Michelle was discovered playing in some moss. Asked “what have you got there, she expertly identified it as “applemalosis “.. a term she made up to sound just like Daddy. But many people benefitted from his knowledge on his walks and wagon trains in the woods that he loved. Near the end of his life and in delirium he would be cleaning guns and packing for a hunting trip on horseback. Never far from the beloved Tetons.
His love for the gospel was evident. His faith persisted through many tragedies that would challenge ones faith; his wife’s loss in childbirth, a terrible boating accident, and a devastating fire. Throughout it all he remained steadfast in attendance and testimony . He was especially loved for his teaching priesthood classes.
He is survived by his wife Linda (Sassy Flowers, Saint Anthony), his children Linda Rae (Chris) Reichert of Meridian, Kathy Lamb( Kevin) Idaho Falls, Rena (Jerod) Crow, Jim Bates, Dawna (Wade) Briggs, and Amanda French all of Saint Anthony, Matthew ( Tangy) of Delta junction Alaska, of Saint Anthony, Wade (Carisa) French of Cody, Wyoming and Michelle (Justin) Witbeck of Boise. Survived also by Michael (Sharon) Bates of Sugar, and Mary Lou ( Gary) Westover of Oakley, Idaho. He fervently loves his 25 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
As the kids gathered several weekends to say their good byes and we turned on Christmas lights on the porch, Pete asked if we are going to have another “Shindig” this weekend. Pete’s Shindig Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Wilford LDS Chapel, 215 North 2400 East, St. Anthony. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and Friday from 10 to 10:45 a.m., both times at the Wilford Chapel. Interment will be in the Driggs Cemetery under the direction of Baxter Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent online to www.baxterfh.com.