OBITUARY: David Jonathan Bates


David Jonathan Bates age 60, passed away peacefully at his home and farm in Mt. Pleasant, TN on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

Jonathan graduated from Culleoka High School and later obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Tennessee. He taught Agriculture originally at Madisonville High School and later completed a 30-year career at Columbia Central High School.

After his teaching career, he was employed at Kings Firearms from 2018 to present. He was a former member and Elder at Pleasant Mount Church and later a member of Thousand Hills Cowboy Church in Ethridge.

Jonathan loved everything cowboy and always said he was born 100 years too late for it. This included cows, horses, Australian Shepherds, John Deere tractors, single action firearms, sitting around an open fire, and watching every western movie ever made. He was a staunch Republican and defender of the Second Amendment but more importantly he was a Christian and a believer in God and family.

He was preceded in death by his father, Reverend Harold Bates.

He is survived by his mother, Betty Ruth Bates; sisters, Deborah (Terry) Skillington, Rebecca Vernon; niece, Sarah (Travis) Hann; nephews, James Skillington, Jeffrey Vernon; great-nephews, Josh Hann, Jacob Hann; his lifelong friend and former wife, Ruth Lamar; and his Aussie, Gus. He was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, John Vernon.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday at 2:00 P.M. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home with Pastor Bill Adams officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Mount Cemetery. The family will visit with friends Thursday from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

Active pallbearers include his closest friends through all times James Moser, Blaine Keysaer, Alexander Erwin, Travis Hann, Connor Upshaw, James Upshaw, Murray Ring, Dennis Hayes, and Edward Andrews. Honorary pallbearers include Elders of Pleasant Mount Cumberland Presbyterian Church, employees of Kings Firearms, table of knowledge at Bucky’s, and Thousand Hills Cowboy Church.

The family suggests memorials in Jonathan’s memory to Columbia FFA Fund, 921 Lion Parkway, Columbia, TN 38401 or Thousand Hills Cowboy Church, 1025 Brewer Road, Ethridge, TN 38456.

Condolences may be extended online at


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