Services for Walter Bates will be held at a later date when he will be laid to rest beside his parents in East Cemetery, Rowe, Massachusetts.

Walter C. Bates


May 29, 1922 ~ August 12, 2012

Walter C. Bates, 90, of Norwalk, passed away on August 12, 2012 at Auror Senior Living of Norwalk.

Born on May 29, 1922 in Stamford, he was the son of the late Walter A. and Jessie Pierce Bates.

Walter graduated Darien High School in 1941 and continued to New York State University. He later obtained his Masters at the Connecticut State Teacher’s College. Walter had a long 60 year teaching career in California, Torrington, CT, and Darien, CT. Walter was very active in the Connecticut State Teacher’s Association and after retirement he became a member of the Lifetime Learners Institution. He was also a proud United States Army Veteran of World War II.

Walter is survived by his brother Franklin P. Bates of Darien, CT, and sisters Myrtle Bates Williams of Boulder, CO, and Alice Bates Stevens of Loudonville, NY. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Walter was predeceased by his brother Elwood A. Bates, and sisters Beatrice Bates Sullivan and Florence Bates Wyland.

Services for Walter Bates will be held at a later date when he will be laid to rest beside his parents in East Cemetery, Rowe, Massachusetts.

  1. My condolences to the family of Walter. I’ve been wondering how Walter has been and have hoping for the best for him. He must have missed his home here at 14 Elaine. Walter maintained the house very well which I’ve been greatly appreciating day in and out. People who walk in this neighborhood have told me they remember seeing him in the yard or even inside the living room in the evenings when they passed the house during their walks. The residents of the neighborhood remembered him and wanted to know what happened. Thank you Franklin for stopping in that one day. I hope to have you through again after I can manage a couple of more updates.

    Sincerely,
    Barbara Cleland

    August 13, 2012
    Barbara Cleland, current owner of 14 Elaine St. -
  • To the family of Walter Bates
    How very sorry I was to find out about Wally’s passing.
    I taught at the same school in Darien as Wally.He and I were friends for many years prior to the start of my teaching career in 1967. We lived in the same apartment building on Fairview Ave . in Norwalk in the 60’s.In fact, My father sold Wally the house on Elaine St.
    Wally would visit my parents and me in my current home in Rowayton every once in awhile. He loved my Dad’s cooking!!
    I’ll miss seeing the photo of him sitting in his beach chair at Calves Pasture that was always in the Norwalk Hour for Labor Day Weekend.
    Please accept my sincere sympathy.
    Cathy Oberle

    August 14, 2012
    Cathy Oberle -
  • Frank and family, so sorry to here about Walter, my thoughts are with you all.

    August 15, 2012
    Joyce Gennette -
  • To the family of Mr. Bates,

    I attended Tokeneke Elementary in the 70’s, and still to this day say that it was the best learning experience of my life, especially due to the teachers that were there like Mr. Bates (and Miss Oberle who commented above). Mr. Bates made science fun because he was so much fun himself. My condolences your family and rest in peace Mr. Bates.

    August 26, 2012
    Chris Ingoldsby -
  • “Anyone who hates dogs and kids can’t be all bad, Alan” my seventh grade science teacher would sometimes say. But of course, I realized that ‘Mr. Bates’ was being facetious because he had just quoted his favorite on-screen actor and comedian W. C. Fields. ‘Wally’s’ sense of humor, his love of teaching, and life long learning was apparent to me, and he left an indelible impression and impact upon my life at an early age.

    As one of four boys growing-up in a single-parent home in Darien during the 1960’s without a father figure, I sometimes lacked the self-confidence and self-esteem that I saw in other boys my age. Nevertheless, Mr. Bates, with a willing ear, his enduring patience, and the feeling that he was in my corner — made a difference. His love of education and life long learning was an inspiration as he encouraged me to purse higher education. As a result, I would go on to earn two graduate degrees (M.F.A. & M.A.) back-to-back with highest honors too (summa cum laude).

    I was sorry to hear of Wally’s recent passing but was glad that I could visit him several times with his compassionate and attentive brother, Frank, who always had a kind word and knew exactly what to say and do while being so attentive to his brother’s needs. I would also like to extend my condolence to Frank and his family.

    As I look back today, I realize that ‘Wally’s’ inspiration, his positive encouragement, and faith in my ability made a difference in my life as I am confident it has with so many other children too. Yes, Wally was that memorable and inspirational teacher.

    However, given his modesty, I have no doubt he would respond by shrugging his shoulders and perhaps say, using Fields immortal words:

    “. . . there’s no such thing as a tough child if you parboil them first for seven hours, they always come out tender.”

    August 31, 2012
    Alan W. King -
  • I attended Tokeneke School during the 5th and 6th grades. Mr. Bates was arguably the most influential teacher I had during my entire academic career, because he instilled a love of science and math that led me to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in geology and finance, respectively. His science class was something to look forward to rather than dread, because he taught with humor, making the “medicine” go down with a spoonful of “sugar”. I still have the “packages” I prepared during the unit concerning atomic structure and the periodic table of the elements.

    I received A’s in his class, but when I saw him a couple of years later in the supermarket, his sense of humor simply couldn’t allow him to say anything other than, “Hey, Walker, how are you doing? Still getting your usual D’s and F’s?” My mother understood what he was doing, and I swelled with pride at the sardonic compliment.

    Teachers touch so many lives, for good or ill, and Mr. Bates was one of the great ones. My friends from Tokeneke, now in their early 50’s, still talk of Mr. Bates, and we often wondered if he were still with us. I was saddened to learn today, belately, of his passing, and I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family. Just as you will never forget him, neither will his students.

    May 20, 2013
    Kevin Walker -
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