Leslie Bates was a world traveler, devoted to his family

Friday, May 30, 2014 | 6:45 p.m. CDT; updated 8:17 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 30, 2014

COLUMBIA — The Rev. Dr. Leslie Bates, 95, died Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Asheville, N.C., at the John Keever Solace Center.

The Rev. Dr. Bates was born April 30, 1919, in Summerfield, Ohio, to William McKinley Bates and Ally Davison Bates. On Dec. 31, 1942, he married Katherine E. Stone in Buffalo, N.Y., and she survives.

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in sacred theology at the New York Theological Seminary. He earned a doctorate in philosophical theology from Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Conn., and soon after accepted a position teaching religion and philosophy at Stephens College in Columbia.

While teaching at Stephens, the Rev. Dr. Bates served as a pastor at Methodist churches in central Missouri. In 1968, he received a Fulbright scholarship to study Indian philosophy at Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India.

After teaching at Stephens College for 33 years, he and his wife retired and spent two years teaching conversational English in Dazaifu in Kyushu, Japan. In 1990, they moved to Black Mountain, N.C., to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

The Rev. Dr. Bates enjoyed gardening, traveling, playing chess with his grandsons and listening to his granddaughters sing.

Other survivors include his sister, Esther Hansen of Weaverville, N.C.; a son, Daniel Bates, and his wife, Ann Fratcher, both of Greer, S.C.; a daughter, Bette Bates, and her husband, Robert Tynes, both of Black Mountain, N.C.; a daughter, Ellen Bates Board, and her husband, Charles Board, both of Cary, N.C.; and five grandchildren, Alison and Robin Tynes, and William, Benjamin and Nicholas Board.

Services will be held at Black Mountain United Methodist Church in Black Mountain, N.C., in August. A date will be announced later. Condolences can be sent to Memorial contributions can be made to the Black Mountain United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 517, Black Mountain, N.C., 28711. Arrangements are being handled by the Harwood Home for Funerals.

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