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Dr. James S. Bates


January 28, 2016


Dr. James S. Bates, 90, of 115 Abbey Road Danville, PA passed away Wednesday evening, January 27, 2016 at his residence.  He was born October 15, 1925 on a farm in Noble County, Ohio the son of the late  Edward and Velva House Bates. 

His early education took place in a one-room schoolhouse, grades 1-8 where the teacher arrived on horseback.  After high school graduation in 1943,  he enrolled in Muskingum College, graduating with honors in l948 with a B.S. degree in biology.  Desiring a medical education, but lacking funds, he took a position teaching chemistry and physics at Springboro High School, Springboro, PA.   One year of teaching high school students convinced him he was not meant to be a teacher.  He enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine graduating in 1953, a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, national medical honor society.  A year's internship followed at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh PA. 

In l954, he enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at the 3700th USAF Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.  Following this, he served a residency in OB/GYN at St. Elizabeth

Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  After three years in private practice in Youngstown, he joined the Dept. of OB/GYN at the Geisinger Medical Center in l964 and remained there until retirement in l993.  While at Geisinger he was Director  of the department for fifteen years and Director of the Residency Program for a number of years

Volunteering for the American Cancer Society for many years, he was the first recipient of the Annual Dr. James Bates Achievement Award for outstanding service.  He was also a literacy volunteer where he taught Reading and English as a second language. 

He enjoyed gardening, classical piano and traveling to hear the great pianists, including the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Texas. He loved cooking and was well known for his legendary pies.  His greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with his family and especially enjoyed many pleasurable family vacations.  

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Elizabeth F. Bates whom he married July 31, 1948.  Also surviving are three children; Thomas D. Bates of Naples, FL., David W. Bates (wife Margaret) of Framingham, MA. and Ellen Leighow (husband Dennis) of Danville and one daughter-in-law, Susan Bates of Lewisville, NC.  Also surviving are five grandchildren; Bill Hoyes, Lindsey Bates-Stoots, Andrew Bates, Allison Bates, and Sarah (Hoyes) Hughes and one  great-grandson, Aiden Bower.  Also surviving are one brother and sister.  He was preceded in death by his son, James M. Bates in 2014 and by two brothers and one sister.   

Relatives and friends are invited to attend funeral services to be held Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 4:00PM at Pine Street Evangelical Lutheran Church 407 Pine Street, Danville, PA  with Reverend Dr. Lois Martin officiating.  Friends will be received from 2:00 PM until 3:45 PM at the church.  He will be laid to rest on  Monday, February 1, 2016 at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in Pittsburgh PA. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders,  P.O. Box 5022 , Hagerstown, MD   21741   or Feeding America, P.O. Box 96749,  Washington DC 20077. 

Arrangements are under the direction of the Visneski Funeral Home, Inc. 10 West Mahoning Street Danville PA.  www.visneski.com


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