Margaret Sue Bates
August 24, 1931 – March 26, 2019
Margaret Sue Bates (Sue), age 87, passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN. She was born on August 24, 1931 to Doris and Fred Gillespie in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Sue attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL graduating with a B.F.A. in 1953. Sue also took courses at the University of Michigan and later completed the teacher certification at the University of Chicago. Sue worked as the associate director of the student center of the Congregational and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) campus ministry at the University of Michigan. In 1957 she married Robert S. Bates.
Beginning in 1957, the Bates served in India as Mission Co-workers, appointed by the United Christian Missionary Society a predecessor mission body to what is today Global Ministries. From 1957 to 1960 Sue and Bob worked alongside the Student Christian Movement of India in Bangalore, South India, and the World Student Christian Federation, in Sri Lanka. Sue also taught for a time at the Kodaikanal church-related school. From 1966 Bob and Sue taught at Leonard Theological College, in Jabalpur Madhya Pradesh in North Central India, where Sue focused on teaching women students. The Bates returned to the United States in August of 1970.
Once the Bates returned to the United States, Sue counseled individuals who resisted obligatory military service, and was an office administrator for Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, IN. Sue worked as an English as a second language teacher, and taught reading and writing to those who were on probation. She also taught a writing course at Christian Theological Seminary. Sue was passionate about working through the church with refugees and often became an “honorary grandma” for many families. She chaired the Commission on Higher Education for the Indiana Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was actively involved in the Indiana Commission for United Ministries in Higher Education. In retirement, the Bates were Regional Elders for the Christian Church in Indiana. Sue also greatly enjoyed making beautiful artistic banners for her local church.
Sue Bates is survived by her husband, Bob, and two daughters, Karen Bates Hudson, and Kristin Bates-Scott, their spouses, and treasured grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Allisonville Christian Church, 7701 Allisonville Road, Indianapolis, IN 46250 on May 4, 2019 at 1:00 p.m., with a time of visitation prior to the service at noon.
Condolences to the family may be sent to Rev. Dr. Robert Bates, 5354 West 62nd Street Apartment 347, Indianapolis, IN 46268.