FITZWILLIAM - John B. Bates, 88, of Clinton, Mass., passed away peacefully in his residence on Saturday, March 29, 2014. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years Michelle L. (Cataldo) Bates, and their daughter Rebecca F. Pierce. He is survived by his son, John W. Bates of Clinton, Mass.; two daughters, Regina H. Tarkiainen of Clinton, Mass.; and Robyn M. Bates of Fitzwilliam; four grandchildren, Ronald J. Pierce, and wife, Christine, Peter A. Pierce, William S. Polewarczyk III, and Michael C. Bates, and wife, Jessica. He leaves two great-grandchildren, Rebecca and Peter Pierce, several nieces, nephews, many colleagues, friends, and extended family, notably his dedicated caregivers who loved him dearly, Lauren Bell, aka "Mary" and Frank Negron. He is pre-deceased by two brothers Joel "Hibble" Bates and Reginald "Tad" Bates.
John was born in Clinton to the late Reginald & Lois (McCarty) Bates, and attended Clinton schools. He enlisted in the United States Army
and proudly served as a combat engineer while stationed in India and the South Pacific during WWII
. He returned home and joined his father and brothers in their family business, R. Bates & Sons Construction, from where he would ultimately retire after a successful 40 year career. He dedicated himself to serving his community as a four term Selectman for the Town of Clinton, former chairman of the Road Commission, and North County Coordinator for Governors Weld and Cellucci. He held numerous professional affiliations and was a member of the American Legion and Trinity Lodge. In his spare time John loved hunting in Pennsylvania, motorcycling, and splitting wood. He enjoyed landscaping the grounds at his home in Fitzwilliam, and always appreciated a good meal. He will be forever remembered for his jovial personality, quick witted one liners, practical jokes, and gifted ability to tell stories. A Funeral Service will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014 in the First Congregational Church, 34 Walnut Street, Clinton, with burial to follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. Calling hours will be held from 4 until 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4, 2014 in the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water Street, Clinton, Mass. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of John B. Bates to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Great Strides Hike for Mike, c/o J. Bates & Son Construction, P.O. Box 997, Clinton, Mass. 01510. Online condolences may be placed at www.philbincomeaufh.com