Grace Eleanora Bates

Grace Eleanora Bates, 97, of Simpsonville, widow of Marvin B. Bates and previously a widow of William J. Blanck, passed away on Friday, February 3, 2023.  Born in Fond du Lac, WI, she was a daughter of the late Claude T. and Mable Fairbank Boudry.

Grace left high school and began working for a shoe factory in Waupun, WI.  A short time later, Grace reconnected with William Blanck and they were married.  In 1943, Grace took the train to Chicago to say goodbye to her husband, Bill, as he shipped off to Normandy.  She became a war widow after only a few months of marriage.  Grace then met Marvin Bates and they began their family.  They opened a restaurant in North Fond du Lac before Marvin’s job in construction and roofing took them to Janesville, WI.  They later relocated to California.

Grace had a tremendous work ethic having grown up during the depression.  She held many interesting jobs during her career that spanned over 63 years.  Grace made fuel bladders for military aircraft, worked for Laura Scudders potato chips in California, Giddings & Lewis making circuit boards for large machinery, and St. Agnes Hospital cafeteria before retiring at 69.  She then rejoined the workforce for 10 years with various jobs including a hostess for Country Kitchen and Culvers and worked at Copps Grocery.

Grace is survived by her son, Rocklyn R. Bates (Jane) of Simpsonville; four grandchildren, Dennis Grainger, Rachelle Bates Matney, Jason Bates, and Joshua Bates; seven great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren.

In addition to her husbands and parents, Grace was preceded in death by three children, Marlene G. Bates, Sandra Bates Grainger, and Rocklyn E. Bates; six siblings, Frank Boudry, LaVerne Malson, Lawrence “Bud” Boudry, Virginia Kairis, Margaret Mathwig, and Marjorie Pierce.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Grace’s niece, Judy Cloud, who helped care for Grace when she was still living in Wisconsin.

A Funeral Service will be held in Wisconsin at a later date.

Condolences to the family of Grace Eleanora Bates

  • Sorry to hear about Aunt Grace. I am Joyce’s daughter Trista and I want to send condolences from Joyce’s family from Wisconsin.

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