(“Libby”) Bates passed away peacefully at home on March 3 at the age of 94.
born Elizabeth Humphrey Fee in Pittsburgh on January 7, 1927. She was named
for her father’s ancestor Robert Humphrey, a western Pennsylvania pioneer
and rifleman in the American Revolution who crossed the Delaware with
Washington’s army at the Battle of Trenton. Her father Dwight Fee, a noted
newspaperman in Pittsburgh, volunteered to serve in the trenches in WWI and
afterward, in tandem with his wife Naomi Lucille, traveled Africa,
documenting the work of American missionaries there.
the second of seven children raised by Dwight and Lucille in Mt. Lebanon,
graduating from high school one year ahead of schedule she attended
Muskingum College in Ohio, happily living at the Chi Alpha Nu house with her
“sisters.” At college, in chemistry lab, she met classmate and local farm
boy James Bates. Following graduation, the two married and lived briefly in
Ohio prior to Jim’s pursuit of a medical degree. Libby had fond memories of
the years she spent working at United States Steel in downtown Pittsburgh,
enabling Jim’s medical education. With her support, Jim became Chief of
Obstetrics and Gynecology at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.
Jim were married for 68 years. Together, they raised four children, and
Libby was, without exaggeration, the active and essential key to their
happiness and success in life. Patient and compassionate, she was always
there to listen and console, to nurture and encourage. Many extended family
members have benefitted from her kindness and generosity. She had a
life-long passion for contributing to global organizations dedicated to
alleviating human suffering and encouraged her family to think of those
whose circumstances were less fortunate than their own.
Jim shared a love of music and traveled, when they could, to see the leading
pianists of the day perform. Libby herself was a very talented pianist
although true to her modest nature, she mostly played in private.
predeceased by her husband, their son Jim and grandson Kris. She is
survived by her sons Tom and Dave Bates (Margaret McKane), daughter Ellen
Leighow (Dennis), daughter-in-law Susan Bates, and, by her beloved cat
delight in her grandchildren Bill, Lindsey, Andrew, Allison and Sarah and
great grandchildren Aiden, Scarlett and Maura, working hard to plan
activities and trips where another generation could experience and learn
about the world together, in the company of their extended family. She will
be dearly missed by everyone who loved her.
will be private at the convenience of the family in the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery
in Pittsburgh PA.
contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5022 ,
Hagerstown, MD 21741 or Feeding America, P.O. Box 96749, Washington DC
Arrangements are under the direction of the Visneski Funeral Home, Inc 42
West Mahoning Street Danville PA.
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