William Garry Bates, Sr., 65, of Albany, GA, died July 14, 2021 at his residence. Funeral services will be held Monday, July 19, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at The Chapel of Sherwood Baptist Church. Rev. John Spencer and Dr. John G. Smith, III will officiate. Interment will follow in Crown Hill Cemetery.
Garry was born on May 11, 1956 in Little Rock, AR. to the late William Otis Bates and Lou Ella Bentley Bates. At the age of one, Garry’s family moved to Albany, GA where he grew up. At a young age, Garry started working with his father at Bates Gas Company. He graduated from Deerfield High School in 1974, graduated from Albany Junior College in 1976 and Valdosta State University in 1979.
After College, Garry returned to Albany, GA and joined the family business working closely with his parents, becoming President and Owner in 1991. Garry was a member of Sherwood Baptist Church, served as a Deacon, was a member of the Disciple Makers Sunday School Class and was responsible for organizing ushers during worship services.
Garry enjoyed fishing, hiking in the Smokey Mountains and was a renowned water skier. He was skilled in jumping, trick, barefoot and slalom skiing. Garry won numerous awards for tournament water skiing including a National Championship 1st place medal in 1974 for jumping in the Open Division. He also won a 5th placed National Championship Medal for Slalom in the Men II Division in 1987. Garry was inducted into the Georgia Water Ski Hall of Fame in 2015.
Survivors include his wife of thirty-six years, Cecily Whittle Bates of Albany, GA, his son, William Garry Bates, Jr. of Leesburg, GA, his daughter, Kelli Jo Bates Payne and husband Austin of Auburn, AL, and sister, Barbara “Nan” Bates Shipp and husband John of Cumming, GA.
The family will receive friends on Monday from 10:00 am until 11:00 am in the Atrium of Sherwood Baptist Church.
Those desiring may make memorials in memory of Garry to the Albany Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes, P.O. Box 72122, Albany, GA, 31708, Sherwood Baptist Church Alpha Pregnancy Center Ministry, 2129 Whispering Pines Rd., Albany, GA, 31707, Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC, 28607 or Willson Hospice House, 320 Foundation Dr., Albany, GA, 31707.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wm. Garry Bates, Sr., please visit our floral store.
Albany Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes,
P.O. Box 72122, Albany GA 31708
Alpha Pregnancy Center Ministry
2129 Whispering Pines Rd, Albany GA 31707
P O Box 3000, Boone NC 28607
Willson Hospice House
320 Foundation Lane, Albany GA 31707