Cover photo for James Edward Bates's Obituary
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1939 James 2023

James Edward Bates

July 5, 1939 — January 6, 2023

James Edward "Ed" Bates, 83, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, passed peacefully on January 6, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.


Ed was born on July 5, 1939 to James "Jim" Clement and Juanita (Jones) Bates in Oklahoma City. After graduating high school, Ed attended the University of Oklahoma where he studied Architecture and was active in ROTC. During his time at OU, he attended a church party where he met a particular OBU student, Joann Rodden. That same night, Joann told her friends that she was going to marry Ed - which she did, two years later in 1961.


After graduating with a degree in Architecture, Ed took a position at a firm in Enid, OK as he awaited his call for Active Duty in the Army. (He later became a partner in this same firm after completing his 2 years of active service and returning to Enid while serving in the Army Reserves.)


Ed and Joann's only child, daughter Jamie, was born the week that they reported to the Fort Sill, Oklahoma Army Base - March of 1963. Ed entered the army with the rank of Lieutenant. They proceeded to Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX where Ed trained Allied Troops.


In 1969, Ed took a position with Tom Stanley Architects in Dallas, TX, and served as lead architect on numerous high-rises which accented skylines across the country. In '75, Ed and Joann decided Dallas was great - but the traffic was not... and they returned to Oklahoma to raise their family. They have lived in Tulsa since, where Ed went on to own Bates/LZW Architects, specializing in commercial projects across the region and the country.


Ed was passionate about his career and serving his clients - but he was even more passionate about his family. He could often be found boating, traveling, and just being in the great outdoors, and he especially enjoyed sharing this with those he loved. When twin grandchildren Megan and Jordan came along, he embraced his newfound role as a grandfather with boundless enthusiasm. He was a lifelong Baptist, and led his family by example with faith, integrity, and love.


Ed and Joann were married 61 years. Traveling was a highlight; they visited every state together (checking off the last two only a few years ago), in addition to multiple countries and cruises. Ed especially loved Estes Park, Colorado and Destin, Florida.


Ed was predeceased by parents Jim and Juanita Bates, and his brother Bob Bates. He is survived by his wife Joann, daughter Jamie (husband Lee), grandchildren Jordan White (wife Dexter), and Megan Annett (husband David), sisters in law Mimi Bates and Sammye Rodden, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends he considered family.


Services to honor the life of Ed will be held at the family's home church, First Baptist Church of Tulsa (420 S. Detroit Ave) on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 11:30 AM.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to First Baptist Church of Tulsa.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Edward Bates, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church of Tulsa

420 South Detroit Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74120

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