Westbrook Bates, 85, of North Port, FL and Waddington, passed away on July 25, 2020. Wes was born on April 5, 1935 in Ogdensburg, NY to Oscar Kenneth Bates and Frances Guest Westbrook and grew up in Canton, NY. He graduated from Canton High School in 1952 and continued his education at St. Lawrence and Columbia Universities where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1957.
In 1958, Wes joined the U.S. Navy and had his Basic and Flight Training in Pensacola, FL. He flew a Grumman S2F Tracker off the USS Hornet as part of squadron VS-37. He served aboard ship during cruises in the Pacific in 1960 and 1962. Wes was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1966 and joined TWA as a pilot at the Kansas City, MO training center. He then moved to Brookfield, CT in 1968 to fly out of JFK. He achieved the rank of Captain and retired in 1991.
Wes was a very active member of the Congregational Church of Brookfield until 2000. He served on the Board of Trustees, Deacons, Bylaws Committee, and the Minister Search Committee, as well as in other roles. He was also a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary in North Port and served on the Board of Trustees in Holiday Park.
Wes married Olga Margaret (Kertesz) Roman in 2001. After they retired, Wes and Marge spent many months a year traveling in an RV with their dogs. They traveled extensively throughout the United States, including a three-month trip to Alaska. They often visited family during their many travels. They spent their retirement years in North Port, FL and at their second home on the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, NY.
Wes was preceded in death by his first wife, Daryll Claire Tennis; one child, Jill Bates Citron of New York; and siblings, Margaret Bates, Carolyn Bates Monteith, and Sarah Bates Eckberg.
He is survived by his loving wife, Olga “Marge” Roman-Bates; children, Fr. James Bates of Connecticut, Jennifer Bates Marazzo (Joe) of New Jersey; two step-children, John Roman (Karen) of Florida, and Margaret Roman Glen (Robert) of Illinois; nine grandchildren, Christopher, Alyssa and Thomas Marazzo; Ashley, Joshua, and Zachary Citron; and Joshua, Ethan and Noah Glen.
For those wishing to honor Wes, please consider making a donation to the USS Hornet Museum Donations Office | P.O. Box 460 | Alameda, CA 94501 (https://www.uss-hornet.org) or to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research | FDR Station | P.O. Box 220 | New York, NY 10150 (https://www.alzinfo.org).