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Henry Smith Bates, Jr.

June 14, 1926 ~ March 31, 2020 (age 93)

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Cambridge-Henry Smith Bates Jr, 93, of Cambridge, NY, passed into eternity on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at the Vermont Veteran’s Home in Bennington, VT after a long illness. He lived a long life filled with love for family and friends, as well as his country, community, and fellow man.

Henry and his twin brother John were born to Henry and Seraph Bates on Flag Day, June 14, 1926, at the Mary McClellan Hospital, in Cambridge, NY. As a child, Henry attended the Coila Church, through which he entered the Bible reading contests that brought him into contact with a young woman who became his wife, Ruth Elizabeth Muirhead. 

Henry’s entire life was dedicated to serving others. He enlisted in the Navy directly out of high school, serving a total of six and a half years as a radar technician during both WWII and the Korean war. 

When he left the service, Henry began his own plumbing and HVAC company, serving his community in this capacity for nearly 70 years. Henry became the Cambridge Fire Chief in 1962, serving in that capacity for 26 years. He was chief engineer at Mary McClellan Hospital for many years, and drove a school bus for Cambridge Central School for 32 years. Henry’s high standard of excellence and his incredible work ethic earned him the respect of everyone who knew him.

In recent years, Henry attended the Sandgate Methodist Church, enjoying fellowship with its members who continued to keep in touch with him even when he was unable to be present.

Henry is survived by his sons, Henry III (Skip) and his wife Dale; David and his wife Laurie; and Timothy and his wife Cherise; his beloved grandchildren, Shawn, Luke, Michael, Daniel, Sarah, Noah, Carissa, and Zachary; and his great grandchildren Jared, Josiah, Lauren, Ruth and Esther Bates, and Veda and Maxwell Worboys.

He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Ruth E.M. Bates, his brothers John and Donald, and his sister May Elliott.

The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Vermont Veterans’ home for their loving, compassionate care of their dad during his stay there, the SWVMC Cancer Center. Words cannot express how thankful we are for you.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the service for Henry will be private for the family only at this time; however, there will be a time of visitation at the Ackley, Ross & Gariepy Funeral Home, 73 West Main Street, Cambridge from 2-4 PM on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Social distancing will be in effect, with a limited number of guests allowed into the funeral home at a given time during the visitation.

Donations in Henry’s memory may be made to the building fund of the Cambridge Fire Department, P.O. Box 554, Cambridge, NY  12816.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Henry Smith Bates, Jr., please visit our floral store.


April 5, 2020

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Ackley, Ross & Gariepy Funeral Home
73 West Main Street
Cambridge, NY 12816


Cambridge Fire Dept.
P.O. Box 554, Cambridge NY 12816

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