Paul B. Bates, better known to his friends and loved ones as Bud, passed away on May 25, 2007, with his family by his side. He was living at Big Sky Nursing Home in Helena.
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Bud was born at the family homestead on the banks of the Madison River near Greycliff on Jan. 11, 1921, to Paul B. Bates Sr. and Alma Holgate Bates.
He went to grade school at Fort Ellis and Central Park and graduated from Manhattan High School. Thereafter, he joined the Army on Dec. 5, 1942, where he served with distinction in the artillery and achieved marksmanship status. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where he earned the Philippine Liberation Medal. Later, Bud was stationed at Port Townsend, Wash., in Battery D at Fort Warden, then served both in the Philippines and in Korea. He was discharged from service with the highest honors on March 10, 1946.
Bud married Agnes Walbert Roe at the home of the Rev. Charles H. Hauk, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Three Forks, on Feb. 13, 1949. Bud and Aggie lived in Three Forks, and he labored with his father and brother-in-law, Floyd Rash, dryland farming in Clarkston in the Horseshoe Hills in northern Gallatin County.
Bud and Aggie later moved to Bozeman where Bud was employed with Brence Service Station and later at the Cinema Theatres on Main Street as a custodian. Bud eventually worked at the service department at Montana State University, where he ended his labors in the service of others.
In November 1987, Paul and Mary Ellen Inabnit started their journey together, and in the process he inherited yet another five stepchildren into his life: Debra Strege, Dan and Carrie Spence, Scott and Shawn Spence, and Dawn Williams, along with four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bud and Mary purchased a motorhome and traveled the United States of America for three years. This was a grand adventure for Bud as he had only traveled outside of Gallatin County when he was in the military service and for a few short day trips. After their tour, they settled in Three Forks.
Bud was active with the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and as a member of the United Methodist Church. He will always be remembered for his gentle, kind ways in every encounter with his fellow human beings.
Bud was preceded in death not only by his beloved wife, Aggie, but also by his parents, his sister, Billie Lee Fonk (Ed), and a stepdaughter, Diane Haynes.
He is survived by his stepson, Ernie Roe, and Ernie's wife, Fatima; his sisters, Evelyn Andres of Columbus, Texas, and her family; Betty Rash of Bozeman and her daughters; Bud's nieces, Eleanor Gover (Leon) and Joan Droppers (David) and their families in the Gallatin Valley and in the Seattle area. He is also survived by Billie's children: Terry, Larry and Barry Fonk, and Cathy Smith (Stan).
Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, at Sunset Memorial Park in Belgrade.
Donations may be made to Hospice of St. Peter's Hospital, 2475 E. Broadway St., Helena, MT 59601-4928; or a donation of your choice.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 30, 2007