Saturday, November 28, 2015 • 09:55

Margaret Bates, co-owner of iconic Bates Nut Farm, dies age 89

Margaret and her husband James.
August 20, 2013
Longtime Valley Center resident Margaret Bates, died last week. She was 89.

She was born Nov. 2, 1923 in Albuquerque, N.M., the sixth child of John and Martha Dawes. Eight years later the Dawes family moved to Escondido and Margaret met James Bates at Escondido High School. They married in 1942 and lived at the Walnut Slope Ranch, now Bates Nut Farm.

Margaret and James raised four children, Dennis, Diana, Kathy and Gayle. Margaret sold Rawleigh Products, a company that makes spices, liniments and salves. She drove around to her customers in North County and the Backcountry in the early 1950s.

She co-owned and worked on the sorting belt at Bates Nut Farm and joined the family during walnut harvesting time. The store would sell the walnut meat to stores and shells were spread on the driveway to keep the dust down. According to one member of the family the Bates' were the only family in the area who had a driveway of crushed walnut shells.

Mrs. Bates was also VC 4-H club leader. She taught sewing and cooking classes when those were 4-H projects. That's how her daughter, Kathy Bates Lande, learned how to can. She was noted for the excellence of her Navel and Valencia oranges. Rube Nelson's market in Escondido used to buy them and people still tell the family that she grew the best oranges they ever ate.

She was also a member of the Chuck Wagon Club, Elks Club and the Grasshopper's Club.

Survivors include her husband of 71 years, James Bates and her children, Dennis (Leo) of Ramon, Diana Anderson of Santa Rosa, Kathy Lande of Palomar Mountain, Gayle & Marianne Bates of San Diego; nine grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

The family plans to have a celebration of Margaret Bates's 90th birthday on Nov. 2, 11 a.m. by the oak tree on Bates Nut Farm. They told The Roadrunner, "Margaret was a kind, loving and generous person with an infectious laugh and she was loved by all. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends."

  1. print email
    Margaret Bates
    August 21, 2013 | 02:15 PM

    A family friend from my childhood and a lovely, sweet and generous woman.

    Shirley Foster
  2. print email
    My Deepest Sympathy to the Family
    August 21, 2013 | 04:22 PM

    Dear Bates Family,
    My prayers are with you as you heal from this great loss. Your Mom leaves behind a loving family & many friends that will miss her more than we can say.

    We really need to celebrate this special woman, with pride and happiness. Her life stood for such wholesome ideals and selflessness in a time that wasn't easy. She lived with dignity and passed in the same way.

    Sending healing prayers and thoughts to her husband of 71 years and the rest of the family. God be with you all in this time of loss.

    With Love,
    Gracie Cheney-Parsons & Jim Parsons

  3. print email
    My Sympathies
    August 23, 2013 | 09:16 AM

    My sincerest Sympathies on the passing of your Wife/Mom/Grandmother/GreatGrandma. She was a Wonderful person and will be Greatly missed.
    And Thank You for the Years of enjoyment my family has had at your establishment. May God grant you peace.

    Ricki Lynn Miller
  4. print email
    August 29, 2013 | 01:08 PM

    To all of the Bates' family I am sorry to hear of your loss, your family was very special to the valley and I was blessed to have known her. (and all the family) May God help you in the days to come...
    he gave me a " " when my husband died and maybe it will be of consule to you "Keep moving forward one day at a time and HE will carry you through". It got me through the death of my husband 10.5 yrs ago.. GOD Bless each of you...

    Lori(Saunders) Pitstick

    Lori (Saunders)
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