Joanne Maria Bates

Jan 8, 1930 – Jun 27, 2019


Joanne Maria Svensson Bates passed away on June 27, 2019 at the age of 89, under the care of her loving family and Hospice while living at the Bellevue home of her son and daughter-in-law. As an only child, she was born in Seattle, Washington on January 8, 1930 to George and Lucy Svensson at Columbus Hospital, which later became St. Cabrini Hospital. She lived on Queen Anne Hill until moving to West Seattle in 1938.

Her Catholic faith became her anchor at an early age and continued to be very important to her until the day she left us to be with God. She was an active parishioner in all nine of the parishes she belonged to, including Holy Rosary Seattle and Holy Family Kirkland where she was registered twice.

Joanne attended Kindergarten at Coe Elementary, and she emphatically stated, “I hated every minute of it!” She went to St. Anne’s for 1st & part of 2nd grade before spending the remainder of her school years  at Holy Rosary School in Seattle, graduating in 1948. She attended Seattle University for 2½  years before becoming engaged to Cullen Frost Bates, Jr., “Frosty”. With an  interest in detective work, that explained why she always asked so many questions for years to come!

Frosty was an Ensign stationed at Naval Air Station Barbers Point in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. On June 28, 1951 Joanne boarded  a  Pan American Airlines Stratocruiser leaving Boeing Field for Honolulu  for their July 1st wedding.  Wearing the wedding dress her mother had made for her,  they became husband and wife for 35 years until his passing in 1986. In May of 1953 they sailed from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco aboard the USS Barrett before fulfilling their next orders to Naval Auxiliary Air Station (NAAS) Corry Field in Pensacola, Florida where their son, Carl, was born. In the summer of 1955, the three of them moved back to West Seattle.

Until Joanne moved to the Eastside in 1988, she and Frosty lived in several  homes in West Seattle with views of Puget Sound,  building  two of these themselves and significantly remodeling their Alki condo. She moved to Bridle Trails in Bellevue across the street from the grandchildren who loved the pool in her yard, before returning to Seattle near Magnuson Park in 1996 and back to the Eastside in 2011 living at Madison House.

When not spending time with her family, Joanne was an avid reader, loved crossword puzzles and created ‘fancywork’ (sewing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, crewel, beadwork and other hand work.) She made  the grandkids Christmas stockings as well as each of us ornaments for over 20 years. It  will be a wonderful reminder of her as we place them on our Christmas trees each year.

Joanne loved to travel, visiting many places such as London, Rome, Amsterdam, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Branson, Missouri, Alaska inside passage, San Antonio, Caribbean, Panama Canal cruise and many other local Pacific Northwest adventures. Together with Frosty, they  also had  sailboats, power boats (although the term ‘power’ is used loosely, since Frosty didn’t think a boat should go very fast, cruising at 7 knots was perfect!) and a seaplane along the way, spending time on the waters of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, Lake Washington and Canada.

Joanne is preceded in death by her husband, Cullen Frost (Frosty) Bates, Jr. and her parents, George and Lucy Svensson.

Joanne is survived by her loving son Carl and his wife Michelle, Grandson, Ryan and his wife, Megan, Great-Grandson, Deacan, Granddaughter, Kendall and her husband, Robert, Great-Granddaughter Isabel, and Granddaughter, Kelsey and her husband Marshall, Great-Granddogs, Maddie, Mayhem and Maebe. She  also has 7 cousins surviving her - John, Laurie, Gretchen, Jennifer, Nancy, Ferd and Don.

Memorials may be made to  American Cancer Society or Wounded Warriors Project.

The family wishes to extend sincere thanks to Evergreen Hospice for whom we are greatly appreciative of all the unending  support and encouragement for Joanne and her family as well as the caregivers for whom we could not have done without. We also would like to thank her PacMed doctors for the care she received during her illness.

Catholic Mass funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Monday, July 8, 2019 at Holy Family Catholic Parish in Kirkland, Washington with a reception following.  A private family burial will be held at Washington Memorial Cemetery. Arrangements are made by Bonney Watson Funeral Home.


John and Elly Nist
Arlington, WA
Jul 3, 2019

To the family of Joanne, we would like to send our deepest sympathy. Our timing isn't God's timing always, but we know by putting our trust in our Heavenly Father, he will get us through difficult times. Joanne had a wonderful life and family that makes for wonderful family memories. Blessings to you all.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.