Obituary: Barbara Bates, 65, Custer.

February 23, 2016
Barbara Bates

Barbara Bates

Barbara Jean (Hillier) Bates, aged 65 of Custer, passed away peacefully at her home early Monday morning, February 22, 2016 surrounded by her family. Barbara was born on August 16, 1950 in Ludington, the daughter of Virgil Hillier and Joyce Curran and was later adopted by her paternal grandparents Ada and Perry Hillier.  She grew up in the Ludington area and attended school at both Ludington and Scottville, graduating from Mason County Central High School.

Barbara worked for many years at Jackie’s Restaurant in Custer, and also worked as a resident caregiver for Sunrise AFC, Rainbow Manor, GranCare AFC, and at Willowbrook AFC.  She enjoyed spending time sewing, reading, working crossword books, looking for bargains while thrift sale shopping, and tending to her plants and roses all over her yard.  Barb also received great joy from her many birds and dogs.

Barbara will be remembered by her children Scott (Nan) Fenner of Fountain, Shana (Jeff) Fenner-Sterling of Ludington, and Sherry (Chad) Fenner-Lockhart of Walhalla, her 10 grandchildren Lisa (Isaiah) Fenner-Gardenhire, Bryan (Ashley) Fenner, Kristine (Nate) O’Brien, Samantha (Nick) Genter, Steven (Brittany) Watters Jr., Cody Abbe, Andrew (Amy) Noonan, Timothy (Kera) Noonan, Courtney, and Telizia Lockhart, her 13 great-grandchildren Nathaniel, Josiah, Jordyn, Alanah, Brookelynn, Chase, Draven, Chloe, Madelyn, Ivy, Caitlyn, Elektra, and Mikel.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her grandson Jesse Abbe, her granddaughter Melissa Watters, and her great-granddaughter Paisley Noonan who will all be there to welcome her to the kingdom of God.

On November 25, 1989, Barbara married Lee Allen Bates Jr. and he survives with his children Allen Bates, Christopher (Melissa) Kalisch, Ryan Bates, and Tara Bates.

A memorial service will be held for Barbara at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 27 at the Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren, 2012 E. Wilson Road, Custer. Friends may meet with her family for a time of visitation beginning at 1 p.m. until time of services at the church.  A luncheon will follow and graveside services will be held for Barbara at Riverside Cemetery in Custer in the spring.

Please visit Barbara’s personal memory page at to leave a tribute of Barbara for her family, or to light a candle in her memory.


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