of Winston, Oregon, went safely home to the Lord with his family at his side on Sunday, October 28, 2012 at the age of 78. He was born May 30, 1934 in Canute, Oklahoma, son of Dean E. and Hazel Mae (Cook) Bates. Royce was raised and educated in Oklahoma and moved to Oregon at the age of 18. He worked for Roseburg Lumber Company as a millwright for 27 years before earning his electrician’s license. He went on to work for several mills across Oregon before retiring in 1996. He was united in marriage to Ronnie Dowdy, who truly was the love of his life, on September 6, 1969 in Reno, Nevada. They continued to make Winston their home. Royce was a Christian who loved the Lord with an unrelenting passion. He and Ronnie attended Winston Foursquare Gospel Center for many years.
Royce is survived by his wife of over 43 years, Ronnie of Winston. He also leaves his children: Redeana Bates of Winston; Andrea Miner and her husband Chris of Roseburg, Oregon; Joe Bates of Eugene, Oregon; and Lesley Roderick and her husband Dennis of Winston. Royce has two brothers, Freddie Bates and his wife Judy of Roseburg and Bob Bates and his wife Barbara of Winston.
Royce enjoyed singing southern gospel, tinkering in his shop, and making people laugh. But more than anything, he loved his family-especially his grandchildren. The name they lovingly referred to him by was “Puh” and Puh was blessed with nine grandchildren: Christen, Sarah and her husband Ricky, Nic, Jessica and her husband Jon, Joshua and his wife Tabatha, Timothy and his wife Annelise, Stephen and his wife Jamie, Nathaniel, and Brandon. Puh’s great-grandchildren are Angel, Tristan, Desirae and Elijah. Two additional great-grandchildren, Corbin and Allyson are waiting to be born. Royce has three sisters in-law whom he loved dearly: Janis Bentley, Mitzi Sulffridge, and Karen Hull. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Donald, and great-grandson Austin. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Winston Foursquare Gospel Center with Pastor Jerry Smart officiating. Friends may pay their respects earlier the same day from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Taylor’s Family Chapel. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Amedysis Hospice Care, Dan Silver with SouthRiver Medical Clinic, and Royce’s dear friend Walt Taylor.