Cover photo for Major William (Bill) S. Bates USMC (ret)'s Obituary

Major William (Bill) S. Bates USMC (ret)

Ottawa

Major William (Bill) S. Bates, USMC (ret)

In sadness as well as in celebration of a life well lived, Bill’s family wish to share his passing on Thursday March 14, 2024, at the age of eighty-nine. Bill was the loving partner of Deb; father to Will (Nina) and John; stepfather to Sandy (Chris), Stein (Cynthia), Leah (Erik) and Ted (Sarah); grandfather to Ben, Matthew, Erik, Patrick, Noah, Caleb and Courtney and great grandfather to Autumn. He is survived by his brother Cliff and sister Roberta. 

Bill was raised in the Memphis area, joining the United States Marines Corp in 1952 at age 18, and served 20 years, including deployments aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex and service in Vietnam. While a Marine, Bill received a master’s degree in the Technology of Management and numerous service medals including the Bronze Star for valor (Vietnam ‘67-‘68). Bill retired from the Marine Corps in 1972 at the rank of Major and remained an unstoppable Marine to his very last day. He was always proud to participate in many Marine ceremonies including those with the Marine Security Guard Detachment at the US Embassy in Ottawa. 

Retiring from the USMC, Bill began civilian life by creating what became a booming business in project management consulting and training. This brought him full time to Ottawa in 1979, where he made his new Canadian home. For decades, Bill was the heart and soul of Bates Project Management, providing services across Canada. An eternal optimist and never one to like the idea of retirement, Bill was always excited to discuss and explore new business ideas and continued remaining professionally active even up to this last year. 

A student of history and an avid reader with a passion for the military and world events, Bill enjoyed sharing and debating these subjects with others, as well as heated cribbage games. He was an extremely generous man, always willing to help family and friends out where it was needed - often unrequested. Keeping up family ties across the breadth of North America was important to Bill, always making an effort to keep in touch with loved ones. He will be greatly missed.


A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, March 30th, 2024, between 1 and 3:30 pm, at Rideau Park United Church, 2203 Alta Vista Drive in the Beecroft Hall (entrance off Cunningham Avenue).   Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are greatly appreciated.

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