The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Kenneth Bate

May 12, 1930 – Aug. 5, 2020


August 12, 2020

Kenneth “Ken” W. Bate, 90, a longtime Sweet Home resident, died Aug. 5, 2020 at the Oregon Veterans Home in Lebanon.

He was born May 12, 1930 in Lemmon, S.D. to Herman and Gladys (Jenson) Bate, the youngest of five children. When he was 3, his family moved to Oregon.

Mr. Bate graduated from Willamina Union High School, and worked at the Willamina Lumber Company before joining the Army at age 17. He spent two years in Japan and then his enlistment was extended for a year and he served that year in the Korean war. He received an honorable discharge as a sergeant in 1951.

Mr. Bate was set up on a blind date with Barb in 1952. They married that year and were together 64 years until her death in 2016.

He worked in Dallas at the Santiam Lumber Company (Willamette Industries), becoming a superintendent, and eventually moving his family to Sweet Home where he was superintendent in Foster. The Bates bought and operated the Sweet Home Bowling Alley for 25 years. During that time they raised four children.

After retiring, they became snowbirds and enjoyed that thoroughly.

Mr. Bate enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. He was very active in the Elks, and became the Exalted Ruler in 1976. He loved being a member of the Elks.

Mr. Bate is survived by his son Duane of Sweet Home, daughter Sandy Smith of Corvallis, and son Dale and daughter-in-law Jeanie of Sweet Home.

He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara and son Reggie.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 14, at the Lebanon IOOF Cemetery.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit


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