William Joseph “Bill” DeBates, 82, Luverne, died Sunday, July 15, 2018, at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne. Burial will be in the St. Mary Cemetery in Worthington at a later date. Visitation will be Friday, July 20, from 4-7 p.m. with parish prayers at 7 p.m. at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Luverne. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
William DeBates was born Dec.18, 1935, to Roy and Louise (Heitman) DeBates in Jasper. He served his country in the United States Army from Jan. 26, 1955, to Jan. 2, 1958.
Bill married Marilyn Gerber on Aug. 13, 1960, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Worthington. The couple lived in Mankato while Bill finished his education at Mankato State University. They then moved to Hardwick where Bill taught elementary school and later became principal. In 1971 he purchased Bill’s Clover Farm in Hardwick. The family moved to Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1976, and Bill worked at Nash Finch Company. In 1979 they moved to Luverne where he worked for M & JR Hakes Inc. In 1983 they moved to Laurens, Iowa. In 1989 the family returned to Luverne where Bill worked at Nash Finch Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before retiring in 2000.
He was a member of St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne, the Hardwick American Legion, and the Minnesota DFL. Bill served as mayor of Hardwick and was elected to the Luverne School Board for four terms. He enjoyed fishing, fantasy football, playing pinochle and watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings.
Bill is survived by his wife, Marilyn DeBates, Luverne; six children, Laura DeBates, Sioux Falls, Bill Jr. (Janine) DeBates, Terri (Dave) Siebenahler, Mike (Samantha) DeBates and Patti DeBates, all of Luverne, and Amy (Brian) Dykstra, Worthington; 21 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Elizabeth Mowbray, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; a brother, Vince (Patricia) DeBates, Sioux Falls; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Roy and Lawrence DeBates; and a sister, Mary Matthiesen.
Arrangements were provided by Dingmann Funeral Home of Luverne, www.dingmannandsons.com.