Carolyn Collier Bates
Carolyn Collier Bates, selfless mother, loyal friend, world traveler and nature lover, died at Allegro Senior Living in Tallahassee, FL on December 28, 2013, after a brief illness.She was born in Farrell, Mississippi, near Clarksdale on July 28, 1918, to Ben T. Collier and Gladys Whiting Collier, while her father was stationed in France with the 305th US Engineers during World War I. She attended Clarksdale High School, graduating at the age of 16 and was named "Miss Clarksdale" the following year.She graduated cum laude from Mississippi State College for Women and completed a Masters degree in English from the University of Illinois in Champagne Urbana.She spent most of her adult life at Sweet Briar College in central Virginia, where her husband was a professor of French and where she taught English part time before becoming the Director of Vocational Guidance/Career Planning, helping Sweet Briar students choose suitable careers and find their first jobs.Her final working years at Sweet Briar were spent in the Alumnae Office, where one of her favorite responsibilities was scouting out and planning worldwide trips for Sweet Briar alumnae.
Mrs. Bates' passion was hiking with her Happy Hiker group in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which she continued to enjoy through her mid eighties. She became known for her wildflower photography, winning many prizes at the local and state levels.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Seymour Bates and her sister, Gladys Collier Ratliff.
Survivors include her daughter, Victoria Bates and husband, David Kopriva, her sister, Perian Conerly, nephew Rod Ratliff, nieces Rebecca Brooks and Rachel Cytanovic, a cousin, Blaine Lamb, and their families.
A memorial service will be held at Allegro Senior Living at a future date
Published in Tallahassee Democrat from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3, 2014