Marjorie Evelyn Bates
Sep 8, 1923 – Aug 18, 2017
Marjorie was born in Tacoma Washington on September 8th, 1923 to Robert & Freida Stahl, she is the third of four children.
From 1923 to 1927, they lived in the Nisqually area on the Brown farm, with her father delivering milk to gas stations and local stores in his truck. In April of 1927, they moved to Southbay, WA, near Olympia. Home was an 8-acre rented farm. Her father worked for Meadowsweet Dairy, hauling milk and ice cream.
In 1931, they moved into a Log Cabin at Lincoln Creek near Centralia, WA. Marjorie attended a oneroom school. She told a story of how she was teased for misspelling the word 'shirt' on the blackboard. One of her earliest memories of was cutting her lower lip on a wire and asking her dad if she was cut. She remembered her dad calling her mom Freida to get a towel and her purse. She was afraid she would miss dinner.
From Lincoln Creek, the family moved to Riverton to a large house that overlooked Strander's Nursery. Currently, this is Interurban Ave near the Duwamish S Curves on I-5.
She attended Foster High School and graduated in 1941. She was the only one of the four kids to graduate. She enjoyed working in the library at school.
She married Gilbert Bates at her parents' home in 1943. They made their home in the Renton Highlands and in 1945 bought their first and only home in Duwamish. They were married 56 years and had 4 children: Kathryn, Wesley, Mike and Gary.
Marjorie worked at Barbie Shipyards to do her part in helping with the war efforts. Then she worked at Sears in the catalog department in Seattle as a stockman for over 35 years.
Marjorie kept busy with her children and school activities. There were decorated bicycle parades, home-made costumes, root-beer making, taffy pulls and camping trips, as well as Boy Scout activities with sons.
She loved the outdoors, hiking clam digging, bird watching and traveling. She traveled with the Elder Hostel programs (a learning experience for seniors) on over 130 trips all around the United States.
Marge's dad was a handy man and made a large slide, a wooden seat glider and a teeter totter which were in the family's yard. They had more playground equipment than the school. Kathy's teacher walked the whole class to their house to play on the yard toys and to have a snack before returning back to school.
Around 1963 the family bought a Dalton Travel Trailer and new memories were created in the years to follow. No more tent camping! They also joined the Sea Gull Trailer Club and went on outings at different locations about once a month. They met so many interesting people who shared the love of the outdoors, including the best pot luck dinners, which were always a good time! Evenings were spent playing cards or board games, putting on skits or plays, or simply hanging around a campfire. That travel trailer stayed in the family, later being owned by her son, Wesley, and is currently in the posession of her grand-daughter, Sarah!
She was also an enthusiastic reader and collector of books on a variety of subjects, particularly stories involving nature, Native American Indians, Pacific Northwest History, and stories involving adventures in Alaska. Some of the tales she enjoyed most were written as if an animal was telling the story.
In the winter months she did a lot of knitting. It was almost as though it was her mission to use her skills to keep everyone she knew in good handmade socks, scarves, and hats! One year she knitted socks for her son Gary's Foster High School football team, including all of the coaches and the waterboy. Then there were slipper socks - it seemed like she could find a pair for whoever happened to stop by.
To say that Marjorie was an avid gardener would be a gross understatement. She took a lot of pride in her own garden and then for something to do, she volunteered at the Tukwila Community Center, Sea Tac Botanical Garden, Kubota Gardens, and weeded the fire department's flower beds. She could be found with her cane, whacking the heads off dandelions so they didn't go to seed. She also enjoyed hiking and helping on work parties for the Issaquah Alps to improve the trails. She also spent a good deal of time volunteering at the LOMA retreat, welcoming guests and brightening up the rooms with her flowers.
Marjorie is survived by her 4 children, 8 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren, and will be missed by all whose lives she touched.
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