1914 4th Street. Marysville, WA 98270

William John Bates Jr. June 21, 2024

William John Bates Jr. passed away suddenly on February 16th, 2023. John was born on May 8,1951 in Everett, Washington. He was the 4th generation of William John Bates, his name sakes were very special to him.

He was raised by his parents William John “Sonny” Sr. and Dorothy Bates. He was the eldest of 5 and the only boy. He lived in Everett and Port Townsend but mainly grew up in Snohomish, Washington where he attended school from 5th-12th grades. During his time as a child, he enjoyed being a part of cub scouts, baseball and being coached by his dad in football. In his high school years he was extremely proud to be a part of the Snohomish High School Marching Band, where they enjoyed a trip to Europe in 1969 and they created a record of all the songs they played during this trip. He was a talented drummer and shared with us that he actually never learned how to read sheet music, he learned it all by ear.

As a child and young adult he was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed bird hunting, archery tournaments, bow hunting, and fishing. In his adult years he kept very busy playing fastpitch, slowpitch, soccer, open gym basketball, racquetball & tennis. In his own words “I have no special ability or talents, I’ve never been really good at anything but managed to be competitive at everything.” He had a very close group of family and friends who called themselves the “Ridge Runners,” they went on many great hunting adventures. His favorite place was the hills of Teanaway & Manastash where he said “he can experience nature at its fullest.”

John received a scholarship to play tennis for Everett Community College, he used his time there to complete the education needed to become a local Snohomish County Sheriff. He left law enforcement and worked at Nepa Pallet, then worked at Weyerhaeuser as a loader operator. In later years, he worked as a cement & pump truck driver for Rempel Brothers and Associated Sand & Gravel. He also worked for Rubantino in Everett, then the city of Everett driving for DART.

He met Janice Nelson on October 23rd, 1976 at a cocktail lounge in Frontier Village, and they married on February 3rd, 1979. They just celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. They lived in Marysville for the last 43 years. They raised three wonderful daughters together, Dawn Cantrell, Becka Ostrom, Melissa Bates. John truly believed his daughters could do anything and raised very strong, independent, and self-sufficient ladies. He beamed with pride and shared how proud he was of his daughters any chance he got. John was an extremely strong and proud family man. In later years, John and Jan took on their favorite role as grandparents, their pride and joys are Trent (12), Kasen (10) and Gloria (7).  They enjoyed spending much of their time together supporting their 3 grandchildren in all of their school and sporting events. He was their biggest cheerleader in everything they did.

He spent many decades coaching all 3 of his daughters in countless sports, mainly soccer and softball in Lake Stevens and Marysville. He ran a hitting clinic at “The Barn”, where he helped hundreds of young athletes improve their softball skills. He enjoyed getting to teach his daughters his passion for the outdoors which included archery and fishing. He had a gift for creating things by hand. He whittled his own recurve bow, made his own arrows, and made fly fishing poles. Later in life, he enjoyed making the most beautiful and unique flies for fishing. He was very proud to share this talent with his grandsons. Above all he loved spending his time with family and attending family gatherings. He loved to play cards with his family and friends. He enjoyed luncheons with his friend John at the casino. The last 7 years of John’s life he endured cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (Red blood cell cancer), Leukemia and a stem cell transplant. He was a true survivor, and he showed such bravery, and he fought with the utmost dignity, grace and strength. He was truly superhuman as he battled through all of his ailments, and did so with the most positive attitude.

John was preceded in death by both loving parents William John “Sonny” Bates Sr. & Dorothy Bates, and his sister Annette Bates. He is survived by: his wife Janice Bates, daughters Dawn, Becka and Melissa, son in-laws Kris, Grant, Steve, grandchildren Trent, Kasen, Gloria, his sisters Ellaine Hanke (Mark), Vicki Bates (Dan), Barb Bates, his many nieces and nephews, and his very special friend and cousin Chuckie Bates. His best buddy and hunting partner Ron Morton.

Help us celebrate the wonderful life of John Bates, we will be gathering to share some of our favorite memories, stories, to laugh, to cry and remember a wonderful man.

February 26th 2023

12-4 Luncheon

Arlington Boys and Girls Club

18513 59th Ave NE, Arlington WA 98223


  1. Dan McCormick says

    So sorry to hear of John’s death. I have many memories of him some of which are very funny. John and I became friends when we were 4 years old and stayed friends until his death although only talking over the phone in recent years. We both played drums with Snohomish high school band. We played on the Fobes tigers little league baseball team along with Steve Alford and George Bagwell. Those were the days❣️

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