Fern Geraldine Bates
Fern Geraldine Bates passed away on Dec. 28, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Visitation: 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020, at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids, with a service beginning at 6:30 p.m. Private family burial at the Edgewood Cemetery, Edgewood, Iowa.
Fern was born May 8, 1932, in a farmhome near the town of Millville, close to the Turkey River, in northeast Iowa. Her parents were John Edward Meyers and Grace Opal (Cole) Meyers. Her siblings include an identical twin sister (Faye Wagner) and an older brother (Clyde Meyers). Fern and Faye were born at home. At birth, Fern weighed 2 pounds and Faye weighed 2 1/4 pounds. At the doctor's directions, they spent some of their first days in a wood stove to keep warm.
In her early years, Fern went to a country school near Turkey River. Her family moved to a farm near Edgewood, Iowa, when Fern was 8 years old.
Then, Fern attended a country school outside of Edgewood, Iowa, and went on to Edgewood High School, where she played softball for the town team. Fern was the catcher and her twin sister, Faye, was the pitcher.
Fern graduated in 1950 and worked a few years in Dubuque. In 1954, Fern moved to Cedar Rapids, and in 1955, she started work for Iowa National Insurance Co Fern worked there until the company closed in 1985.
Fern played softball until she was 45 years old and played on two state championship teams (1958 and 1959). She was nominated to the Cedar Rapids Softball Hall of Fame. Fern also was a league bowler for many years. She bowled with her twin sister many of those years.
In 1982, Fern married Jack Bates. They were married for 22 years until Jack's death on Oct. 13, 2003.
Fern also is preceded in death by her parents, her brother and her sister.
Fern is survived by one aunt, one sister-in-law, numerous cousins, and nieces and nephews.
Fern will be remembered as a person who was a great Hawkeyes fan, loved to be with her many friends and loved to have fun.
Memorials may be directed to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, in care of FOE 2272, 1735 11th St. NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405.
Please share your support and memories with Fern's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.