Helen Marie Bates

date of birth November 2 1921

date of death May 3 2013


Portland, Oregon – Helen Bates, 91 died Friday at home following a stroke on Wednesday.  She was born on November 2, 1921 in Freeborn, Minnesota to John F. and Katharine M. Dombroske. She married Frank Bates on July 1, 1943.


 Helen and Frank worked together throughout their married life, farming together in Freeborn, Minnesota following WWII. In 1955, when Frank accepted the position of Freeborn County Veterans Service Officer in Albert Lea, Helen became his office manager until she retired in 1970.


After Frank retired in 1978, Helen and Frank traveled throughout the southwestern US and settled in Tucson, Arizona from 1986 to 1995.  They moved to Salem, Oregon in 1995 where they resided together until Frank’s death in 2005.


Helen enjoyed shopping, crafting and playing her organ during her more active years.  Later, she found great pleasure with her cat, Iris, who remained with her at her bedside and who misses her greatly.


 Helen is survived by her sister, Gladys Vietor of Holland, MI; her son, John Bates of Newcastle, WY; her daughter, LeeAnne Wrenn and son-in-law, Splinter Wrenn of Portland, OR; granddaughter, Lt. Katherine Wrenn, MD, US Navy, San Diego, CA; grandson, Brandon Bates and his wife Shelley of Cheyenne, WY and great-grandchild, Kayden Bates.


Memorial donations can be made to the charity of your choice. 


3 tribute candles have been lit

Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.

Candle lit by Whitney Deuel It's odd what you remember when someone passes...I remember visiting once with Grandma Helen and learning that you should never put the knife back in the mayonnaise jar after mixing tuna or other such meats. Every time I make tuna, I think of that. She and Grandpa Frank were always sweet to me. I know she will be missed.

Candle lit by Helen Bendixen My thoughts & prayers are with all of you. I am sending a memorial to Freeborn County Historical Museum in memory of your Mom, Grandma & Great Grandma. My husband Marshall was your Mom's cousin. Hopefully may be able to see you at the burial in Albert Lea.

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