Lloyd Owen Bates, Sr., 91, of Las Cruces, died May 28 after a long illness.
He is survived by his wife of over 68 years, Iva (Dink) Bates; four children Sandra and her husband, Larry, of Rio Rancho; Clarice of Littleton, Colo.; Lloyd Jr. and his wife, Terry, of Las Cruces; and Jim and his wife, Sheryl, of Las Cruces; nine grandchildren and their spouses. and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and one grandson.
Lloyd Sr. was born and raised in Indiana. He served as a flight engineer in the U.S. Army Air Corps Pacific Campaign during WWII, flying 98 missions over "The Hump" in India, China and Burma. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for pulling a crew member from a burning C-54 loaded with 81 millimeter mortar shells that had crashed in Luliang, China. He settled in New Mexico with his family after the war and was a long-time resident of Alamogordo before moving to Las Cruces. Devoting his life to the craft of carpentry, Lloyd became a general superintendent and, over a 30-year career, was responsible for the construction of some of New Mexico's most famous and well-known structures including the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, the rocket-sled track at Holloman Air Force base, countless public schools, university buildings, hospitals and churches throughout the state.
Lloyd was a long-time member of the University United Methodist Church. He was also active in a number of Masonic organizations for over 60 years and was a member of the Sons of American Revolution (SAR) and the China-Burma-India (CBI) Hump Pilots Association.
A celebration of his life was held by the family in Cloudcroft on July 13. All of his children and grandchildren and most great-grandchildren came from as far away as New York City, Seattle and San Francisco to honor the man who instilled in each of them an appreciation for education and learning and taught them the value of family and respect for everyone, regardless of their station in life.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from July 18 to Aug. 17, 2013