Cover photo for Margaret Ellen Bates's Obituary
Margaret Ellen Bates Profile Photo
1951 Margaret 2023

Margaret Ellen Bates

March 22, 1951 — May 14, 2023

Margaret Ellen Bates, 72, Altus, passed away on Sunday, May 14, 2023 in Oklahoma City. Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Thursday, May 18, 2023 at the First Baptist Church, Altus, with Rev. Doug Altom officiating. Burial will follow in the Altus City Cemetery under the direction of the Kincannon Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

Margaret Ellen Ford was born on March 22, 1951 in Altus to Edwin Ray and Bonetta (Brady) Ford. She grew up in Altus and attended Altus Public Schools and Western Oklahoma State College. Margaret married John Clyde Bates on December 22, 1966 in Altus. They had two children, Johna (Bates) Worbes and William Robert “Billy” Bates. She was Granny to four grandchildren, which she adored; Nolan Shelby Worbes, Brekyn Margaret Worbes, Roe Bates Worbes and Jack John Bates. Margaret has a large extended family. Every Friday she ate lunch with her mother, Bonetta Steensgard and her sisters, Brenda Ford Andrew, Carolyn Ford Perry, Ranae Ford Winters, and Lori Ford Anderson. She was known as Aunt Sissy to many nieces and nephews.

Margaret spent her adult life working side-by-side with John in the farming and trucking business. She drove a wheat truck, was a parts runner, head cook to combining crews, and a general farm hand. She did the bookkeeping for Bates Bros & Sons Farms and Bates Bros Trucking until her retirement.

Margaret enjoyed traveling with her husband John and other farming friends to many cotton conferences across the United States and with her sisters and soul sisters (Marilee Robbins and Terri Redding) on many girls’ trips shopping and eating. But most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family. She loved to go RV camping with John, Johna, Roe, the grandkids, and her camping buddies. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Altus.

She was preceded in death by her father, Ray Ford; sister, Sherril Rae Ford Dawson; son, Billy Bates; stepfather, Manford "Swede" Steensgard; and brother-in-law, Doug Winters.

Survivors include her husband, John, of the home; son-in-law and daughter, Roe and Johna Worbes; four grandchildren, Nolan, Brekyn, Bates, and Jack; her mother, Bonetta Steensgard; four sisters, Brenda Andrew and husband, Larry, Carolyn Perry, and husband, Mark, Ranae Winters, and Lori Anderson; sisters-in-law, Susan Bates Ward and husband, George, Sandra Bates Maroul, and Sherry Bates Adams and husband, Jerry; brother-in-law, Joe Bates, and wife, Debbie; several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews; and a host of friends.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 PM on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at the funeral home.

Online tributes may be made at Memorials may be made to research for diabetes or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital - 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Ellen Bates, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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