Velma S. Bates

Birth Date: 
Wednesday, January 15, 1919
Date of Passing: 
Saturday, June 13, 2020

Velma S. Bates, 101, of Wooster, died on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at her home.

She was born January 15, 1919 in Pike, NY to Lynn G. and Josephine Hoppock Stroud.  On June 20, 1942, she married Roy S. Bates.  He preceded her in death in 2004.

Velma graduated with a degree from Houghton College in New York and was a teacher in New York for 3 years then in the Northwestern School District at West Salem for 30 years.  She was a member of Emanuel Old Stone Church.

She is survived by her children Linda Jo Esber of Canton and Margaret “Peggy” Ann Yoder of Wooster; grandchildren Amanda Jo Zaugg and Amy Marie Holmes; great-grandchildren Noah and Caleb Zaugg and Jackson and Seton Holmes and a sister Evelyn Tarey of Lamont, NY.

Along with her husband, Velma was preceded in death by her parents; a sister Mary Louise Peckham and a brother Charles Stroud.

Private graveside services will be held in Reedsburg Cemetery.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Contributions may be directed to Emanuel Old Stone Church, 6000 Congress Rd., Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Online condolences may be left at

Memorial Contributions: 

Emanuel Old Stone Church, 6000 Congress Rd., Wooster, Ohio 44691


Private graveside services will be held in Reedsburg Cemetery


Linda and Peggy and family: My deepest sympathy on the passing of your mother. Your entire family will be in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

I want to express my sincerest condolences to Peggy and Linda for your loss. Your mother is now at rest in the arms of the Lord. Roy has been waiting patiently for Velma to join him. May she Rest in Peace.

Bates Family: My sincere condolences and prayers.

Linda and Peggy, I am so sorry to learn of your Mom's passing. I think she is the last member of the Sew & Sew Club of which my Mom was a member too. I have so many good memories of Velma. I'm sure you have many more. I hope these memories give you comfort at this time

Your mom always told our senior English class, "You will thank me when you get to college." She was right! On one of my first freshman English papers, my prof wrote, "Who taught you how to write?" A+ I also can still conjugate in Latin!!! My sympathies to you and your families. Thanks for sharing your mom with so many of us at NHS. Very sincerely, Deb (Gould) Heller (class of '76)

My condolences to the Bates family. Your mom was my favorite teacher in high school and was the one that helped to prepare us the most for college. She served the Northwestern community so well.
(Class of '76)

Linda and Peggy so sorry here about your mom I did your enjoy reconnecting with you and getting to know Velma.

So sorry to hear about your mom,I did enjoy getting to know her.

Our condolences to the Bates family. They were both very important to Northwestern High School. My mother in law speaks fondly of your mom. They were both members of Yo Pe Co, a social group. I never had your mom as a teacher, but my father always said she was one of the best. Our prayers are for your family.

Linda and Peggy,your mom was such a great lady, she touched many lives,and made the world a better place with her warmth and smile..Please except my love and sympathy. Joyce Grant

Requiescet in pace. You were one of the best.

Your mom was also one of my favorite teachers; she was kind to everyone and always had a sense of humor.
So much class.

Bates Family,
So sorry for your loss. Mrs. Bates was my favorite teacher and really prepared us for success at college and in our careers. I also knew her from church and as a friend of our family. I will always remember her great smile, caring soul and wonderful sense of humor. I remember one time when Mr. Bates stopped to talk to her during class, she came back in and said, “well, he’s a little frisky today!” She will be missed but what a blessing she has been for 101 years.

Linda and Peggy: We were sorry to learn of the sad passing of your mother. Velma was one of the nicest ladies we ever knew, and also a fellow teacher (along with your father Roy) at Northwestern High School. Someone mentioned the (long gone) New Pittsburg social group Yo Pe Co, which stood for “Young People of the Community” (you can laugh now). We were members of that fun group, also with Velma and Roy. We hope that good memories of Velma’s long and successful life will help you through these sad days. Our sincerest condolences to you and your families.

Linda and Peggy, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. A few years ago, I ran into your Mom at WCH where we were both getting blood draws. She had just gotten her hair done and I told her how beautiful she looked.(She really did!) I enjoyed sitting and chatting with her that day.
I'm praying for you both. May God be close.

Mrs. Bates really wanted us to be successful and her “Shaping College Writing” class taught all of us to form our words more eloquently. She was always a spunky teacher with nice manicures. That spunk lead to respect as she mixed teaching with fun. Just think about all the Latin banquets! My mom was taught by Mrs. Bates and she spoke with a smile recalling the sincerity of her class time with her. So through the decades I know, she captured the hearts of many students who think of her now and again and say, “Thank you Mrs. Bates, for teaching me that writing skill. I never end a sentence with a preposition because of Mrs. Bates.

Linda and Peggy, It is wonderful that you were able to have your Mom here until her 101st year. I enjoyed having her as a teacher for both English and Latin. I remember her positivity, attitude, and spark. My Mom, Gladia, really appreciated her friendship. For many years, Velma, Opal Geitgey, and Mom spent Saturday mornings in November cleaning the church as part of the Ladies Guild. Velma was very special.

Peggy and Linda,my condolences to you and the family. Your mom was special. Such a kind loving person. It was a privilege to have gotten to know her and care for her. I will sadly miss her always. RIP Velma. Thank you for showing love and kindness to the caregivers. Our hearts are filled with sadness.

Richard had Roy & Vela both as teachers in school & church. I got to know them from church. I remember both Linda & Peggy from church as they grew. I remember Velma had a wonderful laugh and sense of humor especially at Women's Guild meetings. She was a wonderful & loving person. Our prayers go out to all the family. Richard has dementia but still remembers them from school days and talks about them occasionally.

We both have good memories of your mom....Latin Club & English class. She was a very good woman & was a fun teacher.
Our sympathies to you all...Linda, Peggy & families.

Jane & John

Sad to learn of this wonderful ladies passing. She was one of my teachers at Northwestern. She made learning a happy experience. Thoughts and Prayers are with her family.

Linda and Peggy. You have our condolences. I remember all the great times I had with our family from the strawberry pies your mom made for us from our strawberries to riding to Northwestern my Freshman and Sophomore years with you all. You were great neighbors and Velma was a sweet lady. My Mom and Dad also were members of Yo Pe Co. I think of you both frequently.

Peggy and Linda. May the joys you knew and the times you shared help comfort you.In sympathy

Sorry to hear of this, but wow,101! our condolences to both of you and your families.

My SINCEREST CONOLENCES to the GREAT Daughters: LINDA (in my class at Northwestern High School, 1971) + PEGGY!
This entire family, ROY + Velma & the girls were the best of neighbors when we all grew up in New Pittsburg.
And VELMA! WOW!! She was WAS a favorite teaher, indeed: got me really hooked on ENGLISH +Reading (I now have a book
shoppe in MAINE). I always enjoyed visiting with the GREAT MR & MRS Bates as a young kid, and then as my GREAT teachers in high school. Velma & I ALWAYS had great discussions when I rode with her to school, plus me and my ENGLISH & READING!
We had GREAT neighbors in New Pittsburg (ie, the GREAT BATES FAMILY, and more!
God's DEEPEST LOVE to VELMA & ROY for all they have done for our community! and a LOT MORE!!
MY Condolences to ALL THE FAMILY!
PLEASE, Read Ecclesiastes 3: 1-12++

Linda and Peggy. My condolences. I enjoyed your mother as a teacher. I enjoyed helping when Peggy was born.

My sincere sympathy to you, Linda and Peggy, and to your families. Memories of the times we all shared in New Pittsburg while our children were growing up, come to mind. Velma and I played bridge with Joanne Pim and Barbara Appleman, in the evenings occasionally. Lots of fun and laughter! Great memories.

My sympathies to Velma's family. Many fond memories of her as my typing and latin teacher, and then again as a great neighbor in New Pittsburg. She will be missed by the many lives she had touched.

Dear Linda and Peggy, my heartfelt condolences to you and your families. As you know, your Mom was a special lady! When answering the security question, "Who was your favorite HS teacher?" I always say Velma Bates.My favorite Velma quote is, "You have a duty to those around you to be cheerful." Countless of my own students and certainly my own children have benefited from her wisdom. My love of writing was formed under her tutelage and I can still conjugate Latin verbs! She was an excellent teacher and a sweet lady!

I am so sorry to hear that Mrs. Bates has passed, but it's so amazing to live for 101 years!! I will always remember her requiring our best in school and her quick, big smile. I LOVE the photo below and that her smile didn't change all these decades later. She was truly a special person & I was thankful to have her as a teacher! I will be thinking of you all...

What fond memories I have of Roy and Velma. Through basketball I was able to get to know Roy and his dear friend Dean Chance. They Were such wonderful people and continue to be instrumental in the lives of young student/ athletes through their foundation.

Peggy & Linda, we share in your grief over the passing of your mother. What a kindhearted & classy lady she was!! She had such a wonderful laugh & impacted the lives of young & old alike in so many positive ways. God bless you as you mourn her. We are so grateful to have known this special lady.

Lovely lady !!

I'm so sorry to hear of Mrs. Bates passing. She was so nice to me and others in our home room in high school back in the early 70's. I will always remember her smile.

She was one of the best teachers I ever had as well as being kind and friendly. When I attended Chester High School she was my French, English and typing/shorthand teacher. She also was in charge of compiling the Chester Yearbook. Condolences to the family.

RIP Velma. Seems like yesterday the Houser family spent Thanksgiving with Roy, Velma, Linda, Peggy and Aunt Florence and Uncle Walter Bates. Will never forget watching the Browns play in front of the Bates' TV when they had Jim Brown and Bobby Mitchell in the backfield, Dick Schafrath at tackle and the games were in black and white. Roy provided commentary and pointers. While in Charlestown, SC several years ago, ran into Isaiah Thomas, the great basketball player that Roy recruited at Indiana. We talked about Roy, but Thomas asked about Thelma and noted what a wonderful woman she was. He said he was going to send her flowers, wonder if he ever did. The Bates family set a standard and a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

Linda, Peggy and families, I met your Mom in Sept. of 1942. Little did I know as a seven year old what a part she would come to play in my life. Both as a teacher and then my critic teacher when I did my student teaching some years later. I stopped after her 100th to wish her a happy one and introduced myself as her "favorite student in high school". She thought for a minute and said "I don't know about that." That let me know her mind was clear. I think she had a good life and I'm guessing she was ready to move on to something new. Jim

Linda, Peggy and Family, Condolences to all of you. Reading about you mother brought wonderful memories flooding back to me. Mrs. Bates was such a lovely person. I remember her smile and laugh! She was a favorite teacher of mine and I remember her sense of humor. How wonderful you had your mom until she was 101 years old! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. The Northwestern community will not forget her.

Our sincere condolences on the loss of your mom.
The world will never be the same because of the
beautiful difference one life has made. In loving
Memory of someone very special.

My sincere condolences to Mrs. Bates’ family. I was a student of hers at Chester High School and Northwestern High School. She inspired me to become a business/accounting professor. I have taught for over 50 years and have taught thousands of students. All these students have benefited from the education and ethical standards she instilled in her students.

Linda and Peggy,

May God bless you and give you peace and love to you and your family.
I’m so sorry to hear that your mom has passed away!
Your mom and I always had a lot of respect for each other and we shared a lot of funny things together.
May God bless you guys and I will always be there for you guys.

Linda and Peggy, I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. 101 years... wow!! Her age alone says what a special person she was. Your father is a Northwestern legend, but certainly every good man has an equally special significant spouse. Prayers for all of your family during this difficult time. God bless!!

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