Ms. Edith Grace Bates, known as Edie, died on Sept. 7, 2016.
She was born on Oct. 25, 1951, 20 minutes after her twin sister, Colleen.
She graduated from Cedartown High School in 1969 where she was the editor of the infamous orange-colored yearbook in her senior year. She attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, earning a Bachelor’s degree in English.
Ms. Bates had an ardent intention to teach her love of English to high school students, but fate stepped in and steered her onto a different career path. In the early 1970’s, upon the recommendation of a friend, she took a job she knew nothing about as the cocktail lounge hostess at Stouffer’s 590 West Hotel in Atlanta.
That fortuitous beginning launched a 40 year career encompassing many positions in the hotel industry, including catering director, assistant manager, general manager, and ultimately into the field of hotel hospitality, where she found her true calling. Much of Edie’s formative career was with Marriot Hotels, specifically Residence Inns, where she helped to develop the Quality Assurance protocol. She took pride in and was lauded for her team-building abilities in her QA work, becoming regional director of Quality Assurance for the Southeast.
She progressed to hotel management with Interstate Hotels and Resorts Company as Vice President of Brand Assurance, which included opening new hotels nationally and abroad.
With Davidson Hotels and Resorts she continued in the field of hospitality as Vice President of Brand Performance, working to bring facilities to their full guest satisfaction potential.
Her positive and encouraging approach endeared her to those with whom she worked, and countless colleagues have expressed her impact on them as mentor, friend, and the biggest cheerleader for their success.
Throughout her career, she lived in many places, including Detroit, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and ultimately Atlanta, where her family was thrilled to have her close to home again.
Ms. Bates loved her work, and while it took up much of her life, few people know she was an uncertified champion relaxer, opting to read or watch her favorite TV shows in her down time. She also loved a good meal out with good red wine and good friends, traveling, fitness walking, music, singing along to any song she knew (especially if karaoke was involved), acing crossword puzzles, and yes, reading.
One of the most gratifying experiences of Edie’s life was a short stint as an adult literacy volunteer where it was her honor to teach an illiterate business owner how to read. They remained friends for life. Family was paramount on her list of priorities. She was a devoted daughter, and she cherished special and unique relationships with each of her three sisters.
After years of not being able to have a pet because of work-related travel, her cat, Chloe, brought her enormous joy. Edie was a vivacious, dynamic person, a bright light who couldn’t be missed when she entered a room. She had a warm beautiful smile or a ischievous grin, depending on the occasion.
Her family depended on her strength, her sensible nature, her good advice, her leveling influence, and of course, her sense of fun. Edie’s loosely stated retirement plan was to live in California’s Napa Valley and serve wine in tasting bars.
Ms. Bates was preceded in death by her parents, Olin Jackson and Kathleen Whitlow Bates, and her brother-in-law Steve Lance.
She is survived by her sisters Colleen Bates Lance, Melinda Bates, and Laura Bates, her brother-in-law, Virgil Penland, and many beloved cousins.
Visitation will be Thursday, September 15, 2016, 4pm - 6pm at the Olin L. Gammage and Sons Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 16, 2pm, at St. James Episcopal Church, 302 West Avenue, Cedartown, GA. A celebration of life will immediately follow the service.
The family would like to thank Dr. Stephen Szabo, Dr. Shannon Kahn, and the staff of Emory Winship Cancer Institute for their compassionate care. Thanks also to the caring staff of Pruitt Brookhaven.
Her Davidson Hotels and Resorts family could not have been more accommodating, loving, understanding, or protective of Edie from the outset of her diagnosis. More than one of her colleagues called her “the heart of the office”. We can’t thank you enough for such consideration.
A very special thank you goes to her loving “swirl” of friends who supported and encouraged her through her CaringBridge site, and to those who offered hands-on assistance during her illness.
Messages of condolence can be made to the family by visiting our website and signing the online guestbook at gammagefh.com.
The Olin L. Gammage and Sons Funeral Home is handling the arrangements for Edith Grace “Edie” Bates.