George F. Bates, 93, Hamburg, died Aug. 4, 2008, at Reading Hospital, where he was a patient since July 31.He was the husband of Thelma L. (Becker) Bates, whom he married Dec. 24, 1938. They were married 69 years.

Born in Reading, he was a son of the late Arthur and Mary (Spoon) Bates.

Bates attended plumbing school in Reading and worked as a plumber, first for John Fry Plumbing, Hamburg, and then for Fisher Plumbing in Reading. He later worked as a counter man in the parts department of Reading Heater and Supply. He last worked as a night watchman at Price Battery, Hamburg, until retiring in 1976.

He was a 1933 graduate of Muhlenberg High School.

Bates was a member of First United Church of Christ, Hamburg.

He was an Army veteran of World War II.

He was a life member of Central Fire Co., Laureldale.

Bates was an avid sports fan of all Hamburg Area High School sports. He was also a fan of the Phillies, Eagles and Penn State. Additionally, he was a member of Hamburg Golf League and was accredited with two holes-in-one in his lifetime.

Bates was an avid baseball player and was a member of the 1936 Muhlenberg Athletic Club. The team won Berks Rec. Southern Division Championship and also Eastern Amateur Pennsylvania Championship. He enjoyed bowling at Keystone Social Club, Hamburg, and was a well-known boxer in his early days.

Surviving in addition to his wife are two daughters, Patricia C. (Bates) Hartman, Robesonia; and Lyndell M. (Bates), wife of Kenneth P. Johnson, Hamburg.

There are also four grandchildren: Kevin L. Hartman, Karen L. Weisman, Cory M. Johnson and Lindsay C. Crespo; six great-grandchildren: Benjamin and Jacob Hartman; Zachary and Joshua Weisman; and Kaeli and Jordyn Crespo; and three great-great-grandchildren: Morrisa, Tyler and Alexis Hartman.

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Gary L. Johnson, in May 2002.

Memorial services were held Aug. 9 at Leibensperger Funeral Homes Inc., Hamburg, with the Rev. Fred A. Diehl officiating. Burial was private.

The family suggests contributions be made to First UCC Memorial Fund, Third and Pine streets, Hamburg, Pa. 19526.

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