Joan Carol Bates

September 29, 1936 ~ April 20, 2020 (age 83)


Joan Carol Bates, 83, formerly of North Shore Drive and Gearhart Street, died Monday, April 20, 2020 at Diamond Willow Assisted Living-Lester Park. Joan was born on September 29, 1936 in Waterloo, Iowa to Wilder and Martha O’Hara.  Following high school, she married John “Jack” Bates in Mason City, Iowa. Together they owned and operated the Wonderland Resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior from 1968 to 1998. Joan also worked for Duluth Township as the zoning board secretary. She was a member of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, taught Sunday school and Confirmation at French River Lutheran Church, and volunteered at CHUM Church for over 20 years providing music for their services. Joan enjoyed genealogy, reading, writing poetry, playing the piano and auto harp. Joan received her six-gallon pin from Memorial Blood Centers. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jack; infant son, Kevin; a sister, Elizabeth O’Hara and two brothers, Edward and Fiske O’Hara. She is survived by two daughters, Tara (Scott) Golden of Duluth and Erin Bates of Cloquet; three sons, Colin (Sharon) of Duluth, Gareth of Askov and Kirk (Heather) of Duluth; 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.  Joan loved her family unconditionally especially her grand and great-grandchildren. The family would like to thank the staffs at Keystone Bluffs, Diamond Willow Lester Park and St. Croix Hospice for the wonderful care of their mother. Due to the current pandemic guidelines, memorial services will be held at a later date.

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