Obituary of Charlie Bates
Charles Joseph Bates was born on the foggiest night, 43 minutes after Thanksgiving, on November 24th, 2006 in State College, PA. He was the happiest little guy. Charlie loved snuggling and classical music and, most especially, snuggling. He and his family moved to Madison, WI when he was a year and a half old where he loved playing basketball and hide ’n’ seek with the neighborhood kids. He learned taekwondo and took swimming lessons. He vacationed in Arizona with his loving parents and grandparents. In 2008, with Iron Man, he began a lifelong love of Marvel movies and comic books, especially Batman, as whom he plunged into a frozen Lake Monona in 2011, making the evening news and the local paper. Also, in 2011, he became a big brother to his sister, Marcia Rose. Charlie was a great brother immediately and loved singing to his sister and teaching her to read. He was, however, alarmed to learn he would have to share the snuggles with her, though she was snuggly enough that he didn’t really lose out on the deal. He got over it and, as he entered his mid-teens, Charlie was an exceptionally loving and supportive big brother to a sister who worshiped him, joking and playing and wrestling, and also listening when she needed it. In 2014, Charlie moved to Iowa, where he briefly went through a time when he wore a trench coat and fedora to school every day, a phase he later joked he had to go through to become the “cool teen” he was. He was considerably less snuggly at this point. In 2015, he made the local news in Minneapolis after meeting and getting the autograph of Twins catcher Joe Mauer. Hyperverbal, Charlie told the reporter that he was “overstimulated” and that he “knew that he just had to appreciate it because, in that moment, my life changed.” But Charlie’s life really changed when he began to play the piano. He learned by ear, teaching himself song after song and learning to read music. He took up the trumpet and then the guitar. He expanded from there to the bass and the tuba, and was in the process of teaching himself harmonica and drums. He also was writing his own music. He ripped into each new challenge and his parents were astonished at his ambition and his ability. In his short music career at West High School, he performed in marching band, concert band, jazz band, the band for show choir, and the pit orchestra for the school musical, Footloose. He had just performed his first ever gig in December at Vue, a charity event benefiting the West High music program. Charlie loved to be on the stage as well, with starring roles in Young Footliters productions of Aladdin, Honk, Sleepy Hollow, What We May Be, and Seussical, where he showcased his strong baritone voice and his enthusiasm was infectious. The thing he loved most about performing, in addition to being able to showcase his talents, was how collaborative he got to be. He loved when people of different ages from different backgrounds and different beliefs came together to make a neat thing. Charlie was inclusive and wanted everyone to feel welcome and that they were contributing. He was kind and strong and brave and decent. And he was still, in spite of life’s challenges, the happiest little guy. He would have made a hell of an adult. As you can tell, Charlie packed a lot of life into what was still far too short of a time with his devastated loved ones. These include his mother Melissa, father Michael, stepmother Nancy Mayfield, stepfather Michael Tomasson, sisters Marcia Rose Bates, Ellie and Julia Tomasson, brother Erik Tomasson, grandparents Bruce and Susan Bates and Arthur Lowe, Uncles David Bates, Arthur Lowe, and Michael Belgya, aunts Samantha Bates and Brii Wyble, numerous great-aunts and great-uncles and cousins, and innumerable friends. Charlie Bates left an unfillable hole in their world on Saturday, February 5th. They all encourage you to appreciate every moment you have with your own miraculous loved ones and are shattered to learn how fragile and short our time together can be. Snuggle them while you can and any time they’ll let you. Charlie’s family knows that, prior to his death, he sometimes opted to use they/them pronouns. He did not share this information with his family during his life, but they love and respect however Charlie understood himself and would have celebrated and supported the young adult Charlie was in the process of becoming. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you support one or more of three memorial funds established in his name for organizations and causes that were important for him: Young Footliters Youth Theatre: The Charlie Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund will ensure no Young Footliter will ever be turned away due to financial need. You may donate at https://bit.ly/Footliters_CBMF. The Iowa City West High School music program: The Charlie Bates Memorial Fund in care of the Foundation for the Iowa City Community School District, 1725 North Dodge Street, Iowa City, IA 52245. You may also donate online at www.iccsdfoundation.org. Funds will be shared amongst the Iowa City West show choir and band programs. The American Physiological Society: The Charles J. Bates Award for LGBTQIA+ Scholars will support LGBTQIA+ initiatives and students. You may contribute at www.physiology.org/donate. Please specify it is a “donation in memory of Charles J. Bates.” Services for Charlie are scheduled for Thursday, February 10th. with “Prayers for Charlie” beginning at 5pm, and a Memorial Mass to begin at 6pm both at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church @ 3000 12th. Avenue in Coralville. To share a thought, memory or condolence with his family please visit Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service website @ www.gayandciha.com.
Prayers for Charlie
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday, February 10, 2022
St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church
3000 12th Avenue
Coralville, Iowa, United States