Official Obituary of

Lorraine Ruth (Potter) Bates

October 28, 1928 ~ July 17, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Lorraine Bates Obituary

Lorraine Ruth (Potter) Bates, 94, of Condon, Oregon, passed away on July 17, 2023 at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Oregon. Daughter of Ralph and Anna (Duncan) Potter of Mikkalo, she was born on their ranch in the Ajax area on October 28, 1928. After facing bankruptcy at the Ajax location, the family relocated to the Ferry Canyon area, where Lorraine and siblings Clarence and Garland attended Igo Grade School. Brother Darrell Potter was tragically lost ain infancy.. Far from defeated by life’s difficulties, the Potter family rebuilt and flourished in their new location.

When she was of age, Lorraine attended Condon High School, graduating in 1946. A few short weeks later, Lorraine traveled to Union County to attend a State Grange Convention. It was there that she met the love of her life, Mr. Edward Bates, and their story began. They were married on December 15, 1946. For the following two years, the couple lived on Edward’s family property near Union, while Lorraine attended Eastern Oregon Normal School - now Eastern Oregon University.

In 1948, they purchased the Cooke Ranch east of Condon at a foreclosure auction at the County Courthouse; Bates Ranches was born. After settling in Condon, the Bates baby-boom began. In the spring of 1949, the first local Bates was born, followed by four more children each 18 months apart. Wayne, Bruce, Shirley, Paul and Dale were raised on the ranch amongst all its activities, with horses, livestock and wheat. Lorraine was well known for her extravagant harvest meals

In 1953, Lorraine accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and was forever changed. Ed, Lorraine and family were also central members of Condon Baptist Church for the entirety of their lives, where Lorraine served in such positions as Deaconness, Sunday School Superintendent, and a member of the praise team.

Music was Lorraine’s life-long passion. It began with traveling as a child with her family, playing drums in the Potter Family Orchestra at Grange events throughout the region. She went on to learn the piano and the concert bells as well. Many family evenings spent around the piano, singing hymns are cherished memories. Lorraine was also an artist and craftswoman. She loved to sew, and served her community and the wider church with her gift by sewing for missionaries around the globe with the White Cross. She also loved oil painting, especially landscapes of the surrounding scenery. But she loved nothing so much as spending time with family, and flying the region with her favoite pilot, husband Ed, and with the Oregon Flying Farmer organization, even being chosen as Woman of the Year in 1974.

In their retirement, Ed and Lorraine continued to travel, serving as camp hosts in Washington State Parks campgrounds including Field Springs State Park and Chief Timothy State Park for many years. Later, they also took to “snowbirding” in Yuma, Arizona in the winter, where warmth and community welcomed them. At the time of her death, their family of 7 had grown to include 12 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Life took another sad turn with Edward’s passing in 2017 after celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. The family rejoices to know that she is now reunited with her Lord and Savior Jesus, as well as her beloved husband. She is survived by her five children, Wayne Bates of Condon, Bruce Bates (and wife Debra) of Burley, Idaho, Shirley (and husband Al) Burrows of Condon, Paul (and wife Donna) Bates of Condon, and Dale (and wife Sheryll) Bates of Heppner, Oregon, their children and her great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023 - six years to the day since Edward’s memorial. Join us at Condon Baptist Church at 11am for the memorial, followed by at Graveside service at the Condon Cemetary. A potluck meal at the Church afterward, with meat provided.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mid-Columbia Child Evangelism Fellowship at 820 E. Third St., The Dalles, Oregon, 97058

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Funeral Service
July 29, 2023

11:00 AM
Condon Baptist Church (Condon Cemetary)

Interment following funeral service
July 29, 2023

Condon Cemetery (Burns Park)


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