2015 November 14: Helen Bates

Helen J. Bates, 89, of Ottumwa, IA died at 3:15 a.m. November 14, 2015 at Good Samaritan Society – Ottumwa.


She was born June 15, 1926 in Marysville, IA to Paul D. and Ella Wagaman Pottorff. She married James Gordon Williams on December 22, 1946 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA. He preceded her in death on October 3, 1980. She married Robert Bates on December 23, 1989 in Ottumwa. He preceded her in death March 9, 2010.


A graduate of Ottumwa High School in 1944, she worked at Osco Drug in Ottumwa and in the office of John Morrell before her marriage. She later worked at Ottumwa Provision and Ottumwa Day Care as well as teaching cake decorating and making many wedding cakes and cakes for other special occasions. She also made cards to share with others. She had been a Girl Scout Leader, a Cub Scout den mother and was very active in PTA. She was a member of Davis Street Christian Church.


Surviving is a son, Jim (Lyn) Williams of Ottumwa; 3 daughters, Janice (Bob) Price of Newton, Junella (Steve) Jones of Ottumwa and Julie Williams of California, MO; a step-son, Will (Barb) Bates of Ankeny; a step-daughter, Frances (Richard) Guntrum of Westerville, OH; several grandchildren, great- grandchildren, step-grandchildren and step- great -grandchildren; a brother, Paul Jr. (Barb) Pottorff of Knoxville; a sister, Marguerite (Rollie) Markle of Newton.


She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Leroy and Norman “Buddy” Pottorff and a step-son, Robert Bates Jr.


Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at Davis Street Christian Church with Rev. James H. Wakelin officiating. Burial will be in Shaul Cemetery.

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