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Mrs. Billy Carl "Ruth" Bates of Coahoma, Texas, passed away to be with her Lord on Dec. 31, 2012, after a lengthy illness. She was a resident of Howard County beginning in 1955 and was a member of the Coahoma United Methodist Church for the duration of that time.
Nellie Ruth Backlin (Bates) was born Oct. 20, 1918, in Oakes, N.D., to Swedish immigrant parents. She was the eldest of five children born to Fredolf and Anna Backlin. She attended school at the Verner Community one-room country school house near the family farm through the eighth grade.
During that time, her mother passed away leaving Ruth as the maternal figure for her two brothers and two sisters. Her brothers were Melvin Backlin of Oakes, N.D., and Jay Backlin of Missoula, Mont. Her sisters were Mrs. Vernon "Betty" Cliffgard of Oakes, N.D., and Mrs. Earnest "Doris" Cotten of Missoula, Mont. All of her siblings predeceased her.
Ruth worked for the town librarian as a live-in housekeeper during her high school years in order to have the opportunity to attend high school. After high school graduation, Mrs. Bates moved to Aberdeen, S.D., where she attended nursing school at the Sisters of the Presentation Catholic Teaching Hospital. She graduated, earning her R.N. certification in 1942. She joined the United States Navy in 1943 during World War II and was a career Navy nurse for 10 years, separating from service in 1953.
Ruth met and married Billy Carl Bates of Coahoma, Texas, in August of 1953 and the two were stationed in Japan for the first year of marriage as Mr. Bates was at the time still in the Navy.
After returning to the states, Mr. and Mrs. Bates both attended Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas, where Mrs. Bates earned a B.S. in nutritional science. Their only child, Carla Anne Bates (Quinters) was born in Lubbock in September of 1958.
The couple returned to Coahoma, Texas, and began cotton farming in the late 50s and have lived in the area since.
Mrs. Bates was devoted to her family, her community and her church and never missed an opportunity to help someone who was in need. She was 94 at the time of her death.
She is survived by her husband, Billy Bates of Coahoma; her daughter and son-in-law, Carla and Mark Quinters of Valley Mills; and her granddaughter, Nora Quinters of Valley Mills.
The family suggests memorials be made to the Methodist Children's Home, 1111 Herring Ave., Waco, Texas 76708.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at Coahoma United Methodist Church with the Rev. Derrell Patterson officiating. Interment will follow at Coahoma Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home.
Arrangements under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Big Spring. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com