Born to Helen Dewey Sedlack and James Bert Bates in Aberdeen Washington, Jim was valedictorian of the Weatherwax High School class of 1946 and joined the Navy in the same year hoping to pursue a career in music. He was stationed in Washington D.C. where he met his future wife Frances A. Woodring. They married in June 1949 in Seattle Washington while Jim worked on his dual Bachelor’s degree in Statistics and Russian at the University of Washington. They returned to the Washington DC area after he finished his degree in 1952 and he started working for NSA as a cryptanalyst, first at Arlington Hall and then Fort Meade MD, where he worked until his retirement in April 1985.
Jim and Fran first lived in Falls Church VA and then moved to Greenbelt MD in 1953 where they were active members of the community and of St. Hugh’s Catholic church. They were also a founding family of Woodland Hills.
Jim passed away peacefully at Hillhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Adelphi MD. Jim’s wife Fran died in 2004. Their children are Judith Bates (Steve Weinhold), David (Elsa), Richard (Dorrie), Robert (Peggy Oriani), Margaret, Michael d. 2018 (Linda), Kathleen Wheeler (Jeff), and Christopher (Debi). Jim is also survived by his 17 grandchildren: Katie (Brian), Anna (Bekim), David (Stephanie), Melissa (Jeff), Sarah (Matt), Abby (Paul), Alex (Lauren), Malia, Jimmy (Olivia), Andy, Brittany, Hannah, Charity (Danny), Tim (Kacy), Tony, Amanda (Eric) and Emmy (Geoff), and 14 great grandchildren (with two on the way). Jim was so very proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you” - Satchel Paige
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James "Jim" Edward Bates, please visit our floral store.