William Roger Bates, 83, of Fairfield, died Thursday afternoon, June 10, 2021 at Bridgepoint Hospital National Harbor in Washington, D.C. surrounded by family.

Born September 10, 1937 in South Berwick, Maine and raised in Berwick, Maine, he was the son of William E. and Christine L. (Randall) Bates. He was the husband of Mary Anne Gardner of Fairfield, to whom he was married for over 40 years.

Roger graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1960 and then began his 27-year career in the United States Navy. He was stationed aboard several ships as a Surface Warfare Officer. Shore assignments included Hawaii, the Pentagon, San Diego, Calif., Norfolk, Va., Vietnam, Newport, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. While on active duty, he earned his Masters degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. His military decorations include the Soldiers Medal, Bronze Star with Combat V, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, the Navy “E” and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Palm Unit Citation.

After retirement from the Navy, Roger served as a volunteer track and field coordinator for DC Special Olympics and as the academic coordinator for the City Colleges of Chicago extension at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He was a voracious reader and enjoyed all types of music and musical theater. Over the years he was a member of several choral groups including the Newport Choristers and most recently the Emmitsburg Community Chorus. Roger loved to travel, especially long road trips to visit family and friends across the country. He also enjoyed cruising.

In addition to his wife, Roger is survived by his three children, Kristi B. Shannon and her husband Tom, Todd W. Bates, Randall J. Bates and his wife Tara; six grandchildren, Jeremy Shannon, Daniel Shannon and his wife Patricia, Caitlin Shannon, Jack Shannon, Isabel Bates, Wyatt Bates; and two great-grandchildren, Henry Shannon and Mary Sullivan Shannon.

Funeral services, being handled by the Monahan Funeral Home, will be private and at the convenience of the family. Interment will be at a later time at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Bates College Athletic Department, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, ME 04240. Online condolences may be made at monahanfuneralhome.com.

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