Deacon Harold L. Bates, Jr.

July 19, 1930 ~ May 25, 2022 (age 91)


Deacon Harold L. Bates, Jr., of New Milford, passed away peacefully with his family at his side.  He was born in New York City on July 19, 1930, the oldest of three sons to Harold and Savina (Sally) Bates. 

Harold grew up in the Bronx, attending Cardinal Hayes High School and Fordham University.  He ran track in both high school and college, later coaching his own children in the sport.  Harold was blessed with a good sense of humor, which came in handy.  One time as a teenager he arrived late at home.  When he went to open the apartment door, he heard his father on the other side growling, “Is that you, Harold?”  Harold responded, “If it’s not, we’re both in trouble.”  He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War (1952-1954), as a chaplain’s assistant.  Thereafter he worked at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, where he retired as a Claims Manager at the age of 61.

Harold’s first loves were God and family.  Harold proudly served as a Roman Catholic Deacon at Ascension Church in New Milford.  He loved preaching and being a minister of the church.  

Harold and Millie met on a blind date, and were married for 65 years.  Throughout their marriage he called his wife, “Mi Vida”, which means “my life” in Spanish.  In addition to his devoted wife, Harold is survived by his daughter Mary Bates and John Pucci, his daughter Margaret Masterson and Dr. Raymond Masterson, his daughter Kathi McKenna and Robert McKenna, his daughter Cristina Bates-Mott and William Mott, his son John Bates and Danielle Bates, his son Eddie Bates and Karin Bates, his brother Dennis Bates, his 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.  He is predeceased by his brother Theodore Bates and his beloved granddaughter Heather Bates.

Harold was a man of many talents and interests.  He enjoyed reading, listening to music, and watching old movies.  He loved to write, and had many a poem and letter published in the local newspapers.  In his retirement years he was an enthusiastic member of the Bergen County Players and Teaneck New Theater, performing in many productions on stage and radio, including 1776, My Favorite Wife, Fools, The Most Happy Fella, The Fantasticks, 12 Angry Jurors, The Mouse That Roared, and It’s a Wonderful Life (in which he played Joseph, superintendent of angels!).

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours at the Boulevard Funeral Home on Monday, May 30, from 4 pm to 8 pm.  A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Ascension, New Milford, Tuesday, May 31 at 10:00 a.m.  Burial to follow at Our Lady of the Magnificat Cemetery, Kinnelon.

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May 30, 2022

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Boulevard Funeral Home and Cremation Service
1151 River Road
New Milford, NJ 07646

Funeral Mass
May 31, 2022

10:00 AM
Church of the Ascension
256 Azaela Drive
New Milford, NJ 07646

May 31, 2022

11:45 AM
Our Lady of Magnificat
2 Miller Road
Kinnelon, NJ 07405

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