W.C. “Bill” Bates Jr.

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

W.C. “Bill” Bates Jr., 89, died at his residence in Logan, Ala. on Monday, Aug. 26.

The funeral services will be on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Little Sandy Ridge Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Mr. Bates will lie in state from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. with the Rev. Bob Watts officiating. Burial will follow at Little Sandy Ridge Presbyterian Church Cemetery with Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home officiating.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home.

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Bill, a graduate of Lowndes County High School, in May of 1941 knew that he was meant to serve his country. So, in November of 1942 he was inducted into the Army Air Corps where he successfully completed the course for the Link Trainer Instructor as prescribed by the Air Force’s Technical Training Command.

On Feb. 14, 1946, Bill decided he was tired of taking orders and was ready to become his own boss. On his return from war, Bill began dating the love of his life, Teresa, and they were married on Nov. 26, 1948. Soon after their wedding, Bill became known as “The Turkey Man.”

Beginning with Jim Folsom in 1949, he presented the governors of Alabama with their Thanksgiving turkey until 2011.

Not only was he a loved businessman, but he was a lifelong member and elder at Little Sandy Ridge Presbyterian Church. He was also a devout Republican and has been the Chairman of the Lowndes Republican Committee off and on since the early 1960s.

Bill served on the Alabama Republican Executive Committee for over 40 years and was recognized in 2009 for his more than 60 years of serving Alabama Republican Party.

He was also a delegate for President Ronald Reagan both times and for President George Bush Sr. and President George Bush Jr.

Bill was also a member of the Alcazar Shrine Temple, Fort Deposit Lodge. He was inducted to the Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame in 1996, and served on the Board of National Turkey Federation for over 40 years.

He was also a member of the Greenville Rotary Club.

Bill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Teresa C. Bates of Logan, Ala.; daughters, Jane Bates Dent (William H.) and Rebecca Bates Sloane (Paul) of Logan, Ala.; sons, W.C. Bates, III (Wanda) of Sandy Ridge, Ala. John Carlton Bates (Malinda) and Thomas LaHugh Bates (Mary) both of Logan, Ala.; 15 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; sister, Ann Bates McQueen of Logan, Ala. and numerous nieces and nephews.

Active pallbearers will be Christopher C. Bates, Thomas C. Bates, John Allen Bates, Benjamin Jarvis Bates, William A. Bates and Dallas Michael Sloane. Honorary pallbearers will be the Elders of Little Sandy Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tony Bryant, Glenn Frazier and Wilburn Pettus.