Geneal L. Bates
A Very Special Lady
Our hearts are heavy with sadness and our eyes blurred with tears as we remember a special lady that has touched so many throughout her blessed life. When we speak her name, Elizabeth Geneal Lowrance Bates, we can almost feel the warmth of her loving heart, we remember her beautiful smile, we recall witnessing the great love that she held for her family and we shall forever hear the gift of her musical talents that she shared with each of us. However, most importantly, we shall never ever forget her example of grace, courage and strong unfailing faith. On Sunday morning, December 10, 2017 Geneal was called to her eternal heavenly home and on this Sabbath day she took her appointed place among our Lord and Savior’s choir of angels to play her music and to make Heaven’s music more perfect and even more beautiful that ever heard before. Rejoice, Rejoice, for Geneal is in Heaven today!
A native of Cleveland County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late L.L. Lowrance and the late Ruby Bumgarner Lowrance. Geneal grew up in Shelby, North Carolina and was a 1963 graduate of Shelby High School. She continued her education at Garner Webb College and in 1965 received an Associate Degree in Music Performance with a concentration in pipe organ. Geneal’s life became complete when she met and married the love of her life, Danny Bates and together they have shared 45 years of a wonderful marriage and were blessed with a son and daughter that have made them proud each and every day. Mrs. Bates had made her home in home in Hampton, South Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and for the past 16 years she has called Lake Junaluska her home in the mountains. Geneal’s organ and piano talent was heard and witnessed by congregations at Hampton United Methodist Church in Hampton, SC, Christ United Methodist and First United Methodist Church both located in Myrtle Beach and for the past years, Canton Central United Methodist of which she was a faithful member and loved deeply by her church family. She was also instrumental in developing the contemporary church service for Canton Central UMC and also several other churches. Her life took her on many journeys and she has continuously blessed the lives of young and old through her ministry of music. She has indeed made a difference in this world with her loving, caring and giving heart – always willing to help others. Geneal was a gifted and talented musician but she considered her crowning achievement and her greatest joy to be the roles of wife, mom and “Mimi”. Once again let us rejoice and give thanks for the life of Geneal Lowrance Bates.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved sister-in-law and best friend, JoAnn Bates Anderson.
Surviving are her family, her devoted and loving husband, Danny Bates of Lake Junaluska; a daughter, Gena H. Wilkins of Myrtle Beach, SC; Daniel Bates and his wife, Chelsey Bates of Beaufort, NC; grandchildren, Hayden Heatherley, Bella Zoe Wilkins and Chandler, Joey and Elliot Bates; great-grandchildren, Ryker, Isla and also the soon arrival of twin great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Joe Bates and his wife, Ester Bates of Shelby; a sister-in-law, Vickie Lashley of Shelby and James Markey of Canton, who was like another son and also a brother to her children.
A celebration of life service will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017 at Canton Central United Methodist Church. Pastor Paul Brown and Pastor Jeff Dunn will be officiating. The family will be receiving friends in the church parlor one hour prior to the service.
Memorials may be made in Geneal’s memory to Canton Central United Methodist, Pipe Organ Fund, 34 Church Street, Canton, NC 28716 or to CarePartners Hospice Solace Center, 21 Belvedere Road, Asheville, NC 28803.
Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Bates family