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Delores Bates

February 26, 1934 ~ June 2, 2018 (age 84)

Delores Bates, 84, of Elbow Lake, died Saturday, June 2, 2018, in her home, under the care of her family and Knute Nelson Hospice.

Delores was born on February 26, 1934 in Rosholt, South Dakota, the daughter of Monroe and Gertrude (Enwiller) Wass.  She was baptized and confirmed in St. Joseph Lutheran Church in Rosholt.  Delores attended rural country school through eighth grade and graduated from Rosholt High School in 1952.  Following graduation, Delores traveled with a friend to Santa Barbara, California, where she worked in a hospital.

At a dance to celebrate the completion of her father’s new barn, Delores met Gerald F. Bates, and they were married May 9, 1953 at St. Joseph Lutheran Church in Rosholt.  Just one month ago, Delores and Gerald celebrated 65 years of marriage.

Delores and Gerald lived on the Mohagen farm near Wendell until 1960, at which time they purchased a farm in Delaware Township, moving there on her birthday.  Fifty-nine crops later, Delores and Gerald have continued to reside on the family farm. 

Over the years, Delores had many hobbies, which include quilting, needle work, crocheting rugs.  She was dedicated to her family and to raising them well.  She spent much time providing for them by canning, baking, and cooking…and she did it well!  Delores had a love for the farm and her animlas, including her dogs, cats, and the “nursery” of dairy calves.  Delores was a 4H leader for many years and was active at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday School for decades.  Delores was well known for her ability to take time to listen and talk with anyone.  She will be remembered for her love and enthusiasm for her children and grandchildren—she rarely missed their sporting, music, theatre, or religious events.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Leland Wass; and nephew, Michael Wass.

She is survived by her husband, Gerald of Elbow Lake; five children, Joleen (Mike) Johnston of Cando, ND, Connie Lunde of Redwood Falls, MN, Tim (Janis) of Elbow Lake, Pauline (James) Martinson of Ashby, MN, and David (fiancé Denise Bickett) of Dalton, MN; grandchildren, Jill Johnston, Emily (Mark) Moench, Marcus Lunde, Thomas (Jayme) Lunde, Jonathan (Jessica) Lunde, Kate (James Dahlman) Bates, Beth (Eric) Schreifels, Daniel (Dorie) Martinson, Deanna Martinson, Heather Bates, and Nick Bates; great-grandchildren, Vance and Andrew Moench, Anistain and Kolby Lunde and Mariah Iwen, Luella Lunde, Lennox Lunde, Avaiyah Sanford and Eleanor Schreifels, and Colton Martinson; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

Visitation:  5 – 7 PM Wednesday, with a 6:30 PM Prayer Service, at Erickson-Smith Funeral Home in Elbow Lake, and one hour prior to services at the church.

Funeral Service:  10 AM Thursday, June 7, 2018, at Bethlehem/West Elbow Lake Lutheran Church.

Clergy:  Reverend Wes Moir

Interment:  Lakeside Cemetery, Herman, Minnesota

Online Guestbook:


Delores 's Memorial Folder




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