Salem Loses Two Long-time Mack Park Neighbors

George J. Bates Jr., 89

George J. Bates, Jr., age 89, husband of the late Ruth (Sheehan) Bates, died unexpectedly early Thursday morning, Oct. 29, 2009 at North Shore Medical Center, Salem.

Born in Salem, the son of the late Congressman and City of Salem Mayor, George J. Bates Sr. and Nora (Jennings) Bates, he graduated from Salem High School. Mr. Bates then attended Worcester Academy and was employed by the United Shoe Machinery Corp in Beverly until the outbreak of World War II when he joined the United States Navy. For over 10 years he proudly served his country during both World War II and the Korean War. Following his discharge, he was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Contract and Transportation Officer until his retirement.

Mr. Bates was an active member of the Salem community and was recognized for his many years of involvement when he served as Grand Marshall of the Heritage Days Parade in 1993. He was a lifetime member and officer of A.O.H Division 18 in Salem, and had been honored as Irishman of the Year. Mr. Bates was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, Fr. Gabrielle Druillette Assembly and the Third Degree Member of the Knight of Columbus Veragua Council 75 of Salem. He loved music and was a member of the St. James choir. He especially appreciated his many friends in the Golden Tones Chorale with whom he had sung for many years. The City of Salem had also recognized Mr. Bates for his outstanding volunteerism with the first City of Salem Lifetime Volunteer Award.

Read Mr. Bates’ full obituary in the Salem News.

Philias J. “Phil” Verrette, 87

Philias J. “Phil” Verrette, 87, of Mason Street, Salem, died Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 of injuries sustained after being stuck by a motor vehicle near his home. He was the husband of Ruth F. (Swasey) Verrette.

Born in Canada, the son of the late Emile and Aldea (Fafard) Verrette, Phil was a resident of Salem most of his life. During WWII, he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and several campaign medals including the European Campaign Medal with 5 Battle Stars. While in Europe, Philias took part in the invasion of France (D-Day+2), Belgium, Holland, and Germany and was in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, Phil worked for Mason Tanning in Salem and Bill’s Lunch in Lynn. Later, he worked for Salem State College where he retired after 17 years.

A life member of the V.F.W. Witch City Post 1524 after joining in 1946, he became Post Commander in 1969 and later served as the president of the building co-operation and bar manager and remained a dedicated member for many years. Mr. Verrette was also a life member of the 30th Infantry Division Association, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the D.A.V., the Franco American Club, and the Loyal Order of Cooties. Phil was an associate member of the A.O.H. Salem, the Lafayette Association, the P.L.A.V. Post 55 Salem and the Moose Lodge in Salem.

Read Mr. Verrette’s full obituary in the Salem News.

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