Jean P. Bates (1939 - 2015)

  • "A fond and Sad farewell to My beutifull Sister Jean..You..."
    - David McCauley
  • "Gone from sight but not from heart. I remember her kindly..."
    - Bob Bates
  • "So sorry to hear of the passing of Aunty Jean, my heartfelt..."
    - Tracey
  • "I am sorry for your loss. God will soon end all sickness..."
    - BC
  • "To the family my sincere condolences on your loss loved..."
    - Marcie

Long time Alaska resident Jean Paton Bates, 76, passed away peacefully in her home in Palmer, Alaska, on the afternoon of April 15, 2015, surrounded by family. Jean was born at the dawn of World War II on Feb. 17, 1939, in Edinburgh, Scotland, to William McCauley and Annie Shannon. The oldest sister of seven siblings, Jean was the primary caretaker and supporter of her family during post-war hardships. She graduated from St. Anthony's Secondary School in 1955, and soon thereafter, moved overseas to California, to pursue a career in nursing while starting a family life of her own. Jean loved to travel as it gave her a great sense of freedom while growing her passion for diverse cultures and the arts. From 1960 to 1973, Jean adventured through several states with her family, including California, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and eventually to Girdwood, Alaska, where she was instantly captivated by its mountain ranges. Her friends in Girdwood remember Jean as a positive and uplifting personality, full of color and optimism. She dedicated her life to opening her home to loved ones and lending an ear to those that needed it. For 40 years with her husband, Charles, Jean enjoyed gardening, cooking, fishing, taking long hiking trips, sewing, playing her cello and exploring Alaska's beauty first-hand with her family. She moved to Palmer with her husband in 2012. Jean was a very active member of the recovery community throughout her life, helping hundreds of men and women battle their addictions through her experience, strength and hope. At the time of her passing, Jean had 38 years of continuous sobriety. While a true sourdough Alaskan, Jean often said that half of her heart lived in Scotland, often slipping her endearing Scottish idioms into conversation and making several trips to visit loved ones over the years. Jean was preceded in death by her brothers, William, Colin and Alan McCauley; as well as her sister, Margaret. Jean is survived by her loving husband and retired iron worker, Charles "Bill" Bates; brother, David McCauley; sister, Kathy McCauley; daughters, Lisa Vandelac and Coleen Harrier; sons, Gary Vandelac, Michael Vandelac and JJ Harrier. She is also a beloved Nana to eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Jean's family will be hosting a Celebration of Life and Potluck for friends and family at the Bates' residence, 1187 Vroman Drive in Palmer, at noon on Sunday, May 3, 2015. Please bring a side dish and good stories to share. Contact 907-775-2886 for more details.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Apr. 21, 2015