Billy Bob Bates, of Groesbeck, passed away Monday, June 10, 2019, at age 72.
He will be buried in the Bates Family Cemetery, where he lived, on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, with a short service conducted by Dale McDaniel.
The family will receive guests for a Memorial Visitation at the Bates home on the Long Bridge Road (1757 FM 1245 E, Groesbeck), on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16, from 1:00 to 4:00 each day.
Billy Bob was born February 12, 1947 in Marlin to William Noble Bates and Shirley York Bates, both of whom are deceased. He grew up in Mexia and graduated from Mexia High School in 1966. While growing up in the fifties, Bill and brother Jim spent many happy times playing on the family’s JY Ranch on the Long Bridge Road out of Groesbeck.
Billy Bob served in the U. S. Army for two years and was stationed in Korea during the period of the Vietnam War. He was proud of his service in the military police.
Billy was united in marriage with Frances Karen Surber in Groesbeck in 1989. They made their home on the Long Bridge Road, on the JY Ranch which had belonged to his grandmother, Janie York. It was his joy to keep this property in the family and he and his brother established the Bates Family Cemetery on the ranch under one of the huge oak trees.
Billy Bob was an independent businessman, and for the past forty years he had been a distributor of firewood in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. His business, Metroplex Firewood, was based on high quality East Texas oak, and New Mexico pinon pine and juniper.
Billy was proud of his lifelong Texas heritage. He liked to visit with people and talk of his younger life, his work, and his family.
Billy Bob is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Frances Karen Bates of Groesbeck; daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and James Melton of Sahuarita, Arizona; grandsons, Christopher and wife Angelica, and Justin; and one great granddaughter. Also he is survived by a sister, Alma Joy Thompson and husband Brian of McKinney; brother, Jimmie Joe “Jim” Bates and wife Cynthia Wilson “Cindy” of Spring; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.