Walter Irving Bates II died peacefully in his sleep Oct. 14, 2017, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was born Dec. 23, 1932, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to the late Edward Irving Bates and Elinor Van Scoten Bates. He was preceded in death by his loving companion of 27 years, Linda Rael.
Walter graduated from the Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where he served in the student senate, as head chapel usher and as marshall of the field and sergeant-at-arms in the Washington Irving Society. He graduated from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he was a varsity swimmer and baseball player. While attending Duke, Walter spent his junior year abroad at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. During the Korean War, he served in the Army and was stationed in Germany. Walter graduated from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. He worked in marketing for international corporations, including Phelps Dodge Corporation and the Singer Corporation, in various corners of the world, from New York City to Honolulu, to Lima, to Mexico City, to Santiago and to London. He was also a serial entrepreneur, having created and pioneered several businesses in his career, from video surveillance to cable engineering, and lastly a Duke basketball sports fax service.
Walter was an avid reader and passionate traveler of the world. Burma captivated him as he took passage on a boat that went up and down the Irrawaddy River. He was an amateur golfer, tennis player and rider who played polo and rode in foxhunts. He adored playing bridge and gin rummy. A political junkie, he watched news programs and read editorials online. Walter was mischievous, witty and debonair; he loved to tell a great story; he was always ready for a party and was never one to say “no” to a vodka martini well-chilled, one olive, straight up. He was associated with the Unitarian Church throughout his life. He took great pride in his family and stayed close to his two brothers, John “Jack” Bates and Edgar “Ted” Bates. At family events, the brothers would break out in song together to celebrate the occasion.
He is survived by his first wife, Virginia Avery Reich; his second wife, Jacquelyn Dwelle Bates; his children, Edward Avery Bates, Lauren Bates Galleher, Jacquelyn Bates Richardson (Maurice), Edward Irving Bates II (Anne-Laure) and his grandchildren, Hunter Galleher, Phoebe Galleher, Annabel Bates, Léopold Bates and Théodore Bates.
Services will be private with the ashes to be lovingly returned to the Seine River in his beloved Paris.