William Bates, publisher, 1967 WNPA president William Bates, longthe birth of their first son time editor and publisher and six years later, along of the Snohomish Triwith Willis Tucker and bune, died Don Berry, April 24, he bought the 2018. Tribune. Bates During the wrote next 15 years eloquently Bill won nuand humormerous awards ously about for his writing Snohomish, and photogthe town raphy and in he loved, 1967 served and as a as president of member of the Washingthe several ton Newspaboards and per Publishers William Bates foundations, Association. he served the In 1969 town he loved. Bates and Ed Wise founded He was a writer, book the Snohomish Publishing publisher, mountaineer, Company, and after selling gardener, marathoner, fly it in 1983, he started Alfisherman, occasional bee penbooks, an outdoor book keeper, poet, mentor to distribution company, along many, forever curious and with CloudCap Press. kind. In retirement Bill Bates Born in Sioux Falls, was never idle, serving South Dakota on May 23, on the Snohomish School 1922, Bates’ family moved Board, the planning comto Seattle when he was 6. mission and numerous He attended Garfield committees. High School and had the He was an avid biker, honor of being struck out taking numerous trips by Fred Hutchinson on around Europe, and at age three straight fastballs. 85 he rode the mountain World War II interbike leg of his son’s Skirupted his studies at the To-Sea relay team. University of Washington; Bates also loved the he served in the Army Air mountains, climbing over Corps as a bombardier. He 100 peaks in the North graduated in 1946 with a Cascades, including the degree in journalism. five volcanos. After graduation, Bill and Barbara Bates’ Bates’ first job was sports home was a welcoming writing for the Tri-City place for people of all Herald. He shared a desk generations, from all parts with a society writer, of the world. To sit around Barbara Smith, and within the Bates’ dining room or a year they were married. kitchen tables was to be Theirs was a 70-year love treated to great stories, affair. sublime puns and always Hired by the Snohom- laughter. In a quiet way ish County Tribune, Bill Bill Bates left an indelible and Barbara moved to mark on the town of SnoSnohomish shortly after homish, and in the hearts
of so many people. Bill is preceded in death by his parents Chester and Anne Bates and his sister, Betty Compton. Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara, their four children Malcolm (Carol), Stuart (Barbara), Andrew (David), Lizabeth Farrell (Mark); nine grandchildren, Rosalie Bates, Isabella Bates, Evan Bates (Amy), Sara Bates, Hannah Farrell, Katie Farrell, Joseph Farrell, Emmy Farrell, Kristen Farrell and one great-grandchild, Redford Bates. Bill is survived by his sister, Peggy Crosgrove, and numerous nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 913 2nd St., Snohomish on Saturday, May 5 at 1 p.m., with a reception immediately following. Donations can be made in his name to St. John’s and the Snohomish Education Foundation.
An accidental history By Fred Bird I’m 72 today and looking back, way back, I can’t escape the obvious, critical role that providential accidents played in my life. Bill Bates was the best accident that ever befell me. Several friends and I moved to Snohomish from Seattle in 1971 to escape the sad demise of our short-lived “underground” newspaper Sabot – a successor to Helix, Seattle’s original alternative paper. We chose Snohomish because we were familiar with it and how to get to it. Every week we would deliver the Sabot paste-up sheets to the Tribune to be printed, hauling the finished product back to Seattle to sell on the streets for 25 cents apiece. For about six months that was my only income! In Snohomish I naturally hung out at the Tribune because I didn’t know anybody else. That’s when I met Bill Bates, the publisher. Bill encouraged me to submit articles – a bird-watching column
for example, as well as many photographs taken with a neighbor’s borrowed camera. He liked the pictures. He never ceased to encourage me, as he would for many others. He also allowed me to stuff inserts into the Trib at $1.60 an hour. Big money back then. Over time, part-time turned into full-time that lasted nine years. Bill Bates was a dear friend and mentor. Until I showed up on his doorstep I really didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. He gave me my first full-time job and a career. And a friendship that lasted for 46 years. I am so grateful. I am what I am because of him. Fred Bird, a former Snohomish Tribune writer, also worked with State Rep. Sim Wilson in Olympia. In addition to his legislative work, Wilson was the publisher of the Marysville Globe and Arlington Times.
The Washington Newspaper May 2018 5
The Washington Newspaper May 2018