C. Valentine “Val” Bates

C. Valentine “Val” Bates, a local attorney, died on May 1, 2019 after an extended illness. He was born in Leesburg, Florida in 1942, and was raised in Live Oak, Florida. After high school, he attended and then Graduated from UF. He was commissioned an Air Force officer through UF ROTC and served in Okinawa before he joined SAC Headquarters where he served with distinction. Val then returned to UF and entered Law School.
After graduating, he began his legal career, all 47 years in Gainesville; he served on numerous judicial Panels, Committees & Boards throughout his career, both on the local and state level.
Val joined the local Gainesville ELKS Lodge #990 in 1972. His quiet, yet effective leadership skills were quickly noted, and he was asked to serve as Exalted Ruler when a vacancy occurred, serving much earlier than is traditional. From there, Val became active on the District and State Levels, again serving on numerous Committees. In 1993, he was elected as the President of the FLORIDA STATE ELKS ASSOCIATION and asked to serve on the (national) GRAND LODGE Judiciary Committee. In 1994, he was appointed to the Elks National Board of Grand Trustees where he served the last year as its Chairman. In 1998, he was elected as the Elks National President in Anaheim, CA. Val and his wife, Claudia, traveled to every state, Puerto Rico and Panama that year as he visited numerous Elks lodges and met thousands of Elks.
After serving as the Elks National President, he again served on and advised many National Elks Committees while also acting as the sponsor for the Elks Lodges in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Puerto Rico.
He was proud to serve in an organization that helped so many in numerous ways.
Val was preceded in death by two grandchildren: Alan-Michael Simmons & Grace Charlotte Bates; he is survived by his wife of 32 years, Claudia (MacKenzie) Bates, his daughter, Lisa Bates-Lester, sons, Jeffrey Bates (Jennifer) and Jay Simmons (Wendy), his grandchildren, Michael, Chad, Maggie, Destiny, Connor, Kaitlyn, Kennedy, Jack and Luke; his brother, Philip (Robin), and many nieces and nephews, and hundreds of friends and colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Elks national Foundation 2750 N. Lakeview Avenue Chicago, IL 60614-1889, and/or Florida State Elks Association Harry-Anna Investment Fund, Inc. P O Box 49 Umatilla, FL 32784-0049. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday May 9, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church 106 SW 3rd Street Gainesville, FL 32601. A reception and hosted luncheon will immediately follow the service at Gainesville Garden Club 1350 NW 75th Street Gainesville, FL 32605. Arrangements are in the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES 311 S. Main Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-5361 www.milamfh.com