Coach Gene L. Bates
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Coach Gene L. Bates
He graduated from Edinburg High school in 1946. He found his way to Beaumont and Lamar Jr. College as it transitioned to a 4-year college. He played ball under Stan Lambert and was part of the championship team in the Spindletop Bowl in 1949. He coached in La Feria and Raymondville, Texas in the 1950's. At coaching school in Dallas in 1959 he ran into an old friend, "Bum Phillips", who told him that Dick Sheffield in Jacksonville, Texas was looking for a line coach. It was a 14-year coaching experience with 2 semi-final games against Dumas in the early 1960's and 2 quarter-final games in the early 1970's against Plano. He ended his coaching career at Kilgore as an assistant line coach for Jim Miller in 1974.
"Gabby" as he was fondly known by, was preceded in death by his wife "Miss Benny Jo" (a dance teacher in Jacksonville and Rusk for many years) and his youngest daughter Patty Jo Bates; three brothers, Jim Bates, Frank Bates, and Billy Bob Bates.
Coach Bates is survived by his older sister, Lucy Helen McMillian (94) of Casper, Wyoming; his daughter, Peggy Gene Premeaux and her husband Ron Premeaux of Sealy, Texas; his son, Gene E. "Eddie" Bates of Beaumont, Texas; his granddaughter, Johanna Schulte and her husband Michael Schulte of Sealy, Texas; his grandson, Joseph "Kyle" Premeaux and his wife Sarah Premeaux of Richmond, Texas; his great-grandchildren, Caden Joseph Premeaux, Adeleane Benny-Jo Schulte, and Cameron Jo Premeaux and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and close family friend Sandra Steele and her daughter Renee.
Visitation will begin on Sunday, August 4, 2019 and friends are cordially invited to visit with the Bates' family from 6 to 8 o'clock in the evening at Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville.
A funeral service is scheduled at 2 o'clock in the afternoon Monday, August 5, 2019 at Autry Funeral Home Chapel in Jacksonville. He will be laid to rest at Resthaven Memorial Park in Jacksonville.
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