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 Mary Lee <I>Yager</I> Bates

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Mary Lee Yager Bates

  • Birth 16 Aug 1894 Riceville, Howard County, Iowa, USA
  • Death 6 Dec 1939 Faribault County, Minnesota, USA
  • Burial Riceville, Mitchell County, Iowa, USA
  • Memorial ID 69443570

Mary Lee Bates Died Wednesday

Beloved Wells Woman Buried in Riceville Cemetery - Well Known in Musical Circles

Mary Lee Yager Bates, wife of Alfred E. Bates, died at her home near Wells on Wednesday, December 6. She was born in Riceville, IA., on August 16, 1894. There she spent her childhood and was graduated from the high school. Endowed with a beautiful voice and a love of music, she turned her attention to the study of music and was graduated from the Minneapolis School of Music in Minneapolis.

For some time she gave private lessons in voice and piano at Oelwein, Ia. She spent a summer in the East where she took private lessons in voice. She also spent a year in Chicago to further musical education. After a time she continued her musical training at the University of Minnesota in the field of public school music. She taught music in the public school at Sandstone, Minn., for two years. She then came to Wells where she taught two years longer. That she did outstanding work in Wells, the results of the music contests bore evidence. She was popular with her students and helped to lay a foundation in music and music appreciation which her successors have always appreciated.

In 1928 she gave up her public school work to marry Alfred Bates and has since resided in this community, where she has been a leader in her chosen field. For several years she directed the Mother Singers of the local Parent-Teacher Association and has always been a loyal supporter of the Methodist Church Choir, where her solos have been enjoyed by all who heard her. Four years ago she sang the contralto solos at the district music contest and only last winter sang a contralto solo in "The Messiah."

Other organizations to which she belonged have felt the influence of her personality and culture. She was an active member of the Eastern Star, the Farm Bureau, Farm Bureau Unit and has filled a niche in the Wells community, where she will be sadly missed by a multitude of friends.

She leaves her husband, a daughter, Constance, her mother, Mrs. Margaret Yager, and a host of relatives and friends.

She exemplified the beautiful line: "To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

Burial took place Friday in the Riceville Cemetery beside her father who preceded her a few years ago. Funeral services were held both in Wells and Riceville. The Rev. R.J. Potter of the local Methodist Church was in charge of the Wells Services and the Reverend Kerwin of Des Moines, Ia., preached the funeral sermon in Riceville.

Among those attending from out of town were: Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Wilkes, Robert Wilkes and Mr. and Mrs. Rudy Doer of Riceville, Ia., Lloyd Maxie, Mrs. Hulda Twitchel, Mr. and Mris E.L. Teitchel of Des Moines, Ia., Mrs. Grace DeWitt, Mrs. Harry Cooper and son and daughter, Mrs. E.K. Green, Mr. and Mrs. Lacey M. Caldwell and Mrs. C.B. Gaylord from Monneapolis and St. Paul, Mr. and Mrs. John Hasse, John Gorman, Harold Butler, Lester Mason, Mrs. Osmundson, Helen Kennedy, Viola Wilk, Miss Johnson, Eva Jones and Mr. and Mrs. William Matthies of Blue Earth.

The pallbearers were John A. Bush, Elmer E. Roesler, Aaron J. Pankonin, Theodore Thisius, Tilmer A. Gaard and Fred J. Werner.

The numerous and beautiful floral tributes mutely testified to the high esteem in which Mrs. Bates was held.

Family Members






  • Created by: Pamela Byers Wrenn
  • Added: 6 May 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 69443570
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Lee Yager Bates (16 Aug 1894–6 Dec 1939), Find A Grave Memorial no. 69443570, citing Riverside Cemetery, Riceville, Mitchell County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Pamela Byers Wrenn (contributor 46852076) .