Fred Lay Bates Jr., went to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, having resided in Kerrville, Texas.
“Pastor Fred” to many and “Big Fred” to his family was born on July 14, 1929, in Conway, Arkansas, to Fred Lay Bates Sr. and Madie Simmons Bates. He graduated from North Little Rock High School, College of the Ozarks and The University of Arkansas School of Pharmacy in 1952. Big Fred was signed to a professional baseball contract with the New York Yankees organization by Bill Dickey as a pitcher and played AAA baseball in the then Southern Association.
On Feb. 23, 1952, he married Anne Powell Berryman in North Little Rock, Arkansas. They were married 66 years before Anne Bates went to our Lord Jesus on Sept. 15, 2018.
Big Fred served in the United States Army from 1952 to 1954. He was the Chief Pharmacist of the Fort Ben Harrison Army Base in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Oct. 4, 1954, Big Fred joined Eli Lilly & Company starting as a salesman. After 30 years and transfers to many cities, he retired as Director of Sales for the Southwest Sales Region in Dallas, Texas. After retirement from Lilly, Big Fred and Anne moved to the Hill Country, residing just north of Fredericksburg, Texas, from 1983 through 2010. Big Fred worked at a number of drug stores in and around Fredericksburg.
Big Fred and Anne joined the newly formed Fredericksburg Bible Church. Having faithfully studied the Bible all his life, on Jan. 1,1987, Big Fred was ordained as Pastor Fred. As Pastor of Fredericksburg Bible Church, he taught the Scriptures line-by-line and verse-by-verse from the pulpit until his retirement in 2004. Pastor Fred again came out of retirement to become the interim pastor of The Bible Church of the Lakes in August 2005. The “interim” pastorate lasted 12 years until Pastor Fred preached his last sermon on Aug. 27, 2017, ending two careers of 30 years each.
Big Fred is survived by four children, Daniel L. Bates and wife, Michelle Rene Bates of Fort Worth, Texas, Pamela Anne Rush and husband, Ralph Rush of Ruidoso, New Mexico, L. Brent Bates and wife, Margaret Bates of Kerrville, Texas, and the Rev. Stuart Alan Bates and wife, Lisa Bates of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Graveside services and interment will be at noon Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in the Greenwood Cemetery, Fredericksburg
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be given to the Fredericksburg Bible Church, The Bible Church of the Lakes or to the charity of your choice
Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory.
You can watch a live-streaming of the service starting at noon Wednesday, Sept. 16, at https://cordiallyinvited.live.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent at www.schaetter.com.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of the Schaetter Funeral Home, 800-880-2151.