BATES, Raymond Harry
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Raymond Harry Bates, age 82, passed away peacefully at home in Jupiter Farms on January 1, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. Raymond was born in Hartford, Connecticut on July 5, 1931 to Robert J. Bates and Marion Keith Bates. He spent his early years growing up in Coventry, Connecticut where he met his wife of 62 years, Beulah (Buzzie) Aspinwall Bates. Ray belonged to the National Guard in Willimantic, Connecticut; when it was federalized in 1950 he was sent to Korea where he spent a year as a machinist in the combat engineers. Ray worked as a test operator for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Hartford before relocating to the Florida Plant in 1958 with his young family. His 37 year career at Pratt & Whitney gave Ray & Buzzie the opportunity to travel the world. They lived 2 years in Iran; 2 years in Saudi Arabia and vacationed throughout Europe and Asia. Ray and Buzzie lived in Lake Park for 23 years, raising their family in the close-knit community. Ray served as a volunteer fireman for many years on the Lake Park Fire Dept. Ray was a born handyman. You name it, he could build it or fix it. Ray could always be counted on by his family & numerous friends to help out with a project or repair. He rebuilt many a car engine, and provided each of his 4 teenagers with reliable (but not necessarily sporty) transportation. Classic cars were a life long interest and Ray could identify just about every early model ever made and tell you a story about each of them - with the Model A Ford being his favorite. After returning from his overseas jobs, Ray and his son Ronnie worked side-by-side to build a dream home in Rustic Lakes. At 'Country Pines' Ray enjoyed life in the country puttering around with his tractor, workshop and menagerie of farm animals. He built a tree house for his beloved grandchildren to enjoy and they all loved visiting Papa and Gramma to swim in the pool, play with the animals, fish in the pond or ride in the golf cart. After retiring from Pratt & Whitney, Ray enjoyed working another 20 years as an estate manager for Mrs. Eugene Dixon of Palm Beach. Ray was a proud member of the Jupiter Light Lodge #340, becoming an honorary Kentucky Colonel. He was also a member of the Jupiter Elks Lodge, the Palm Beach Gardens Moose Lodge and the UTC Retirees Club. Ray is survived by his loving wife Buzzie; children Janet Palm (Jeff), Nancy Hill (Brad), Ronnie Bates (Cathy), and Terrie Bates; grandchildren Cristie Pela (Adam), Kelly Robertson (Ryan), Lori Dingers (Marcus), Lee Hill (fiance` Stacey), Megan Bates and Katelyn Bates; great grandsons Bradley Dingers, Rayce Pela and Reid Robertson; sister Marion Davis (Frank); nephews Larry Peloquin (Martha) and Stephen Peloquin (Beth); and many other family members and friends. A celebration of his life will be held at Jupiter Light Lodge #340, 600 S. Loxahatchee Dr, in Jupiter on Friday January 10th at 6:00 p.m. Ray was blessed with a life well lived and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him. In lieu of flowers, friends may consider donations to the Jupiter Light Lodge #340, PO Box 566, Jupiter, FL 33458.
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Published in The Palm Beach Post from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2014