Randy Lee Bates

January 29, 2024

In Loving Memory

Randy Lee Bates

Randy Lee Bates passed away peacefully on January 29, 2024, at the age of 72, after a lengthy battle with heart disease. He is survived by his wife Kathy Bates, his children Russell (Olivia) Bates and Kristina Lee, his grandchildren Elainah and Teaghynn Bates, and Germaine and Dakota Lee. As well as his sister Pamela (Dave) Gunderson, his sisters-in-law Wendy (Darryl) Billett & Andrea Lane, with his many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents Jack & Barbara Bates. With so many family members and friends being near and dear to Randy’s heart we are unable to name each and every one of you, but you are acknowledged and honoured.

Randy spent most of his life at Bates Bar J Ranch, a well-loved children’s horse riding camp northwest of Cochrane, AB, where he met his wife Kathy, raised his beloved children Russell & Kristina, watched his grandchildren explore the same hills, valleys, and rivers as he did. Originally founded by his parents, The Ranch evolved into a place where people came to meet, grow, and create lifelong friendships and memories. Randy thrived there surrounded by his family, working hard with the horses, the children and all his people. He was a man with a plethora of knowledge, and the gift of gab (especially after his political career on council in MD of Bighorn) he built his own log home, he learned to silversmith, leather work, and wood art. He was always able to answer your questions, sit down and shoot the breeze with you, or stir the pot with his friends. Randy sat tall in the saddle (until he was dumped on his ass), worked hard with his giant hands, and always took the time to teach those who sought his knowledge. He loved to have fun, and always had a ready laugh. Randy loved his friends, but maybe not too much, as anyone who went with him collecting horses, were sacrificed to ride the rank colts, the ones that needed the hours in the saddle, and none may understand this more than Randy’s lifelong friend Garry. Others may remember Randy for his shenanigans during the wagon rides, racing down the fields, and epic mud fights.

Randy retired from summer camp life in 2012, but continued on with the work, building his dream home on the hill overlooking the valley. He continued to work his fields, tend a much smaller herd of horses, and teach the grandchildren anything he could, like driving the car, or braiding reins. His favourite pastime was to fall asleep in his chair while reading his book, but the thing he loved best of all, was visiting with his favourite people.

Randy’s last adventure was to move with his family to Kamloops, to get away from the Alberta winters, be close to the fruit markets, and enjoy his new valley, with the trees, hills and creek running nearby.

“If every single person who has liked you in your lifetime were to light up on a map, it would create the most glitteringly beautiful network you could imagine. Throw in the strangers you’ve been kind to, the people you’ve made laugh, or inspired along the way, and that star-bright web of you would be an impressive sight to behold.”

You – Donna Ashworth

Randy, you connected with so many people, made them laugh, made them think,
and helped them grow. Your map of lights in this world is brilliant. Your loss will be felt by so many.

There will be a celebration of life for Randy, June 1, 2024, in the Cremona Community Hall in Cremona, Alberta at 1:30pm.

Arrangements entrusted to

Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services 250-554-2324

Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services:

T: 250-554-2324 F: 250.554.3505

665 Tranquille Rd #4,
Kamloops, BC V2B 3H7

E: [email protected]

Leave a comment

Comments: 9

  1. Garry and Sandy says:

    Words cannot express how sorry we were to hear of our dear friend’s passing. Sending you endless love and hugs for the whole family.

  2. Ken Birkett says:

    My deepest condolences to you; Kathy, Russell, Olivia, Kristina and All of the Family. Randy was truely a Kind Sole while being a humungus man! He brought me into your family like a little brother (I mean “little”, compared to him) and made all of my family feel welcome at the Ranch. I will miss his friendship and thoughtful conversations. May he rest in Peace in Heaven.

  3. Dawn Wyver says:

    Olivia I am so sorry for your family’s loss. May all the great memories be ever present in your lives. Randy sounds like he left a beautiful legacy.

  4. Debi Pluto says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. He was an incredible man with a huge heart. Always enjoyed our conversations and especially his laughter. My thoughts go out to all of his family and dear friends. Sending much love and hugs your way Kathy

  5. Lillian Bryant says:

    So sorry for your loss. Having known Randy and being a neighbor since our school days my memories are many – and all of them are good. Glad to have had time for a quick visit last summer. Thinking of you all. Hugs.

  6. Debbie Vandelaar says:

    Kathy, Olivia and family, I was saddened to hear the news about Randy. Such a loss. But I know he is up there above the clouds, riding horses and wearing that contagious smile of his. May you all be blessed with peace as your lives move on without this remarkable man.

  7. Sarah Leete says:

    Precious memories of riding through Bar J and up the Little Red on many occasions. Randy and Kathy were always welcoming.
    Most memorable was Lilian B losing power and jack knifing with our 2 critters in the back up that long hill. Had to call her bro David to extricate us. Horses were fine BTW and stood calm at a crazy angle. Horse adventures were the name of the game in those days.
    So hope to catch up with you Kathy in Cremona this summer.

  8. Gregory L Sando says:

    Randy lives on in the greatest of memories for so many who spent time at Bates Bar J. My family was fortunate to have many memories that will be entrusted to our memories forever. Thanks and thoughts and Prayers for all concerned. Love from all of us.

  9. Paul Sando says:

    Bates family and friends
    My heart felt sympathies Kathy , Russell, Kristina the grandkids and all extended family and friends for your loss. I heard this news from Jodyne Jacobs recently and my memories of my youth came flooding back .Working as a summer camp councillor, spending winter weekends building hockey rinks on the river , the many family gathering and of course the always ever present big man Randy . Riding the trails with Randy was always a unique experience, never the same trip twice , always a laugh and a memory made and the kids always loved it . The water fights the practical jokes and shenanigans made an already great place to make wonderful life memories even better .
    Heck I took my bride to be Pam on one of our first weekend get aways to the Bar J to camp by tent in one of the pastures. Being the farm girl she was waking to the cows mooing was no big deal. Randy will be missed I’m sure of that , a man with that much love for life leaves a void , but the memories and that map of lights you have so beautifully described….they will shine on
    With love for you all
    Paul T and Pam Sando
    We will be there to pay our respects
    on June 1

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