ALBANY -- Lou Ella Bates, 87, of Albany, GA, died Sunday, April 28, 2013 at her residence. Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Sherwood Baptist Church Chapel. Mr. Ross Powell and Rev. John Spencer will officiate. Interment will follow in Crown Hill Cemetery.

A native of Irwington, GA, Mrs. Bates was employed as a nurse in Rome, GA where she met William O. Bates of Elijay, GA. They married in 1951 and remained married until his death in 1991. Lou Ella Bates moved to Albany, GA in 1957 where he was stationed at Turner Air Force Base.

While in the Air Force, Mrs. Bates and her husband began Bates Gas Co. in 1959 where she was still going to work every day with her son. Mrs. Bates was a member of the First Baptist Church of Albany for over forty five years where she taught Sunday School for over twenty years. She is currently a member of Sherwood Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George R. Bentley and Lucille Swann Bentley, and two brothers, George Bentley, Jr. and Bill Bentley. Mrs. Bates was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother.

Survivors include a daughter, Barbara Shipp (John Shipp), Cumming, GA and her son, Garry Bates (Cecily Bates), a brother, Linburg Bentley, Irwington, GA, a sister, Martha Abernathy, Winder, GA, and grandchildren, Whitney Shipp, Dawson Shipp, William Bates and Kelli Bates.

The family will receive friends at Sherwood Baptist Church Chapel from 10:00 a.m. until the funeral hour.

To view the full obituary or to sign our online registry or to send condolences to the family, you may visit Mathews' website at

Mathews Funeral Home

Albany 229/435-5657