WILLIAM JOSEPH DeBATES, age 82, of Luverne, died Sunday, July 15, 2018, at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. He was born December 18, 1935, in Jasper, to Roy and Louise (Heitman) DeBates. Bill served his country in the United States Army from January 26, 1955 to January 2, 1958.
Bill married Marilyn Gerber on August 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, SD 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, IA. In 1989, the family returned to Luverne where Bill worked at Nash Finch Company in Sioux Falls, SD 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, SD; Bill Jr. (Janine) DeBates, Luverne; Terri (Dave) Siebenahler, Luverne; Mike (Samantha) DeBates, Luverne; Patti DeBates, Luverne; and Amy (Brian) Dykstra, Worthington; twenty one grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Elizabeth Mowbray, Milwaukee, WI; a brother, Vince (Patricia) DeBates, Sioux Falls, SD; sister-in-law, Judy DeBates, Aurora,CO; and many nieces & nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Roy and Lawrence DeBates; and a sister, Mary Matthiesen.
Visitation will be Friday from 4-7 pm with parish prayers at 7 pm at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Luverne. Visitation also one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 am Saturday at St. Catherine Catholic Church, in Luverne, officiated by Fr. Thomas Jennings. Burial will be in the St. Mary Cemetery, in Worthington, at a later date.
To view an online obituary, or order flowers, please visit www.dingmannandsons.com