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Display honors former mayor

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 11, 2011

 Madelyne Zamora, a trustee with the Warren Historical and Genealogical Society, worked on the display honoring former Mayor Ted Bates.

Madelyne Zamora, a trustee with the Warren Historical and Genealogical Society, worked on the display honoring former Mayor Ted Bates.

Photo by Brian C. Louwers


WARREN — Family, friends, and visitors at the Warren Community Center remembered former Mayor Ted Bates by looking over a collection of memorabilia assembled in the hall outside of the city’s Historical Gallery last week.

The display honoring Bates, the city’s mayor from 1967 to 1981, and before that the treasurer and an executive secretary under former Mayor Art Miller, was created from pieces in the archives of the Warren Historical and Genealogical Society. The effort was supported by items supplied by family members, including Eleanor Bates, the former mayor’s first wife.

Mayor Bates passed away on Feb. 22 at the age of 84 in northern Michigan, where he lived with his wife, Mary Jacqueline.

“Ted was hard working. He worked so hard. He was so dedicated to the city of Warren,” said Eleanor Bates, 83. “He really cared about doing a good job. He really did. He worked hard every day.”

Among those who stopped by the gallery’s hallway display case were close friends who worked with or for Bates, and helped him during his mayoral campaigns.

Pearl Carr, 77, of Warren, whose family has known the Bates family since 1952, said she worked with the former mayor on two occasions: in 1952, when Bates worked for Miller, and again in 1979, when Bates was himself mayor.

Carr and her husband, Bill Carr Sr., said they wore coats bearing Bates’ name and carried his famous “Bates bags,” given out in abundance to the city’s schoolchildren.

The couple helped Bates campaign, and the family’s raised their children together.

“We were in all seven of his mayoral campaigns,” said Bill Carr, 77. “Going door to door and standing out at the polls in February, it was cold.”

Pearl Carr remembered the generosity and hospitality shown by Bates and his family.

“They always fed us. It was wonderful,” Pearl Carr said.

Eleanor Bates said she remembered making “a lot of sloppy Joes” for the mayor’s army of volunteers.

“They were the best. They were so dedicated,” Eleanor Bates said of his supporters.

Warren Historical and Genealogical Society Trustee Madelyne Zamora came forward with the idea to honor the former mayor by displaying the memorabilia. She said the vast majority of the items now on display were in the possession of the city’s archives for politics and important people.

Both categories clearly defined Ted Bates.

“I think the tenure. I think the respect people had for him, the integrity. If he expected people to be there (at the office) at 8:30 a.m. in the morning, he would be there,” Zamora said. “When you start pulling stuff out you see how much you have. It’s wonderful.”

The display honoring former Warren Mayor Ted Bates can be found in the hallway outside of the auditorium at the Warren Community Center, located at 5460 Arden, south of 14 Mile Road and west of Mound.