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ACU Remembers: Barbara Bates

Longtime benefactor and former Abilene Christian University trustee Barbara Jo Allan “Barbie” Bates (’61) died Jan. 6, 2024, in San Antonio, Texas, at age 85.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Park and Funeral Home, followed by a reception.

She was born Dec. 19, 1938, in Brady, Texas, graduated high school in San Antonio and earned a B.S.Ed. degree from ACU. She married Frank Milton Bates on April 17, 1965, and was a middle school physical education teacher. She and Frank were co-owners of Whopper Burger Inc., and when they sold it in 1984 to Burger King Inc., she continued to manage her commercial properties and investments.

Bates helped establish Christian Heritage School in San Antonio and served on its Board of Trustees. She served as an Abilene Christian trustee from 1994-2009 and was on the Visiting Committee for her alma mater’s Department of Music. Bates received an ACU Distinguished Alumni Citation for 2007.

Her ranch home, Solid Rock Ranch in Hunt, Texas, was provided by Bates as a place for family, ministers, missionaries, authors and other friends to enjoy fellowship.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Leo Allan Wyres and Georgia Ovaughn Kunsman; and her husband, Frank.

Among survivors are daughters Deanie (Bates ’89) and husband Skip Dampier III (’87), Kim (Bates ’90) and husband Mike Simpson (’90), and Lisa (Bates ’93) and husband Wes Stamps, D.C. (’92); six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

— Ron Hadfield
Jan. 17, 2024

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