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Darla “Dee” Bates

Darla “Dee” Bates, 77, of Tuscola passed away in the early morning hours on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at her home with family at her side, as she wished.

Please feel free to join in the procession leaving at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020 from the Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 705 South Main Street, Tuscola, to the Tuscola Township Cemetery. The family will have private gravesite services there with Tuscola Fire Department Chaplain Joseph Carter officiating.

Darla was born in Decatur, IL on December 16, 1942, the daughter of Leroy Earl and Tessie L. (Frederick) Dick. Her parents and sister, Twila Jones, preceded her in death. Also preceding her was her husband of 49 years, Gary “Bato” Bates.

She is survived by her daughter, Dee Ann Bates; son, Steve (Sandy) Bates; grandchildren Stephanie (Mike) Maag, Zachary, Nicholas, and Natalie Bates; three sisters, Terry Kennedy of Seagoville, TX, Bunny Philip and Marki (Jerry) Dorsch of Oakville, WA; many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and furbabies.

“Dee” graduated from Atwood High School in 1960. She was a great lady, a woman of many talents and attributes. Her artistic ability was shared with her entire family, in learning, teaching, and leaving us many beautiful paintings on our walls. Her skills at the card tables go back to when you had to trek to Nevada for such gaming. Which went along with her love of travel, and a good hotel stay. She enjoyed good dinners, both out and wonderful ones she made at home, and meals and trips with her Lunch with Ladies friends. She was a member of the Tuscola Moose Lodge. She really loved Elvis, and never lost that lead foot. Darla held various jobs and wore many hats over the years; suffice to say she was quite the entrepreneur, engineer, and enlightened manager of many positions and businesses, even when lots of our Moms did not work outside the house.

But inside her house was her best work. The welcoming and nurturing place she made for all of us. Her love and support of her family rivaled none. Staunch, fair, tough and tender. You’ve no doubt seen her at any number of sporting and celebratory events, on the fields and bleachers and in the gyms and on the road for a couple generations of us. And so many lessons taught in her home. To quote a recent note from a loved one: “…thank you for teaching me something new every time I was around you. Every single time. You always had a way to never belittle people for things they didn’t know, you would simply enlighten them with the facts with the smoothest and most respectful way.”

She loved us unconditionally, and we are forever in her debt for such examples she set. Our Mightiest Warrior. We celebrate a life well lived. The family wishes to thank her helpers, at Christie Clinic Oncology Department and the Carle Hospice Program, and so many others along her way. Memorials may be made to the Tuscom Little League, P.O. Box 51, Tuscola, IL 61953 or Peace Meals, 694 Castle Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.

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