Emily Josephine (Bates) Haynes
|Emily Josephine Bates was born in Ovid,
Michigan, January 23, 1911, first child of
Bion LaMott and Wilma Josephine (Jackson) Bates. Ovid at
the time was a largely agrarian community approximately 30 miles NNE
of Michigan's capital, Lansing. In the course of the following
decade Emily was joined by a sister (Barbara Louise, born 1914) and
two brothers (Jackson Wilmot, born 1917, and Richard Chester, born
1921). Bion was the town's dentist, having opened his practice
in Elsie in 1905 (moving to Ovid two years later), and Wilma was a homemaker all her life; they were married in
1909 and lived in Ovid their entire lives, although parts of many
winters later were spent in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, south of Daytona
All of Bion and Wilma's children graduated from the University of Michigan, two of them with advanced degrees, a most unusual accomplishment in those days and a school allegiance that (with a few notable exceptions) continued into following generations.
Barbara predeceased Emily, but as of this writing both Jack and Richard are alive and have contributed significantly to the materials to be found within. (Emily's family details are covered in sections devoted to parents, siblings, and the Bates and Jackson lines.)
In her 100 years Emily lived through both World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and several lesser conflicts. She experienced the Great Depression and the Great Recession and numerous more mundane economic cycles. Eighteen U.S. Presidents came and -- for the most part -- went during her life, and (since she was a committed Anglophile) four British monarchs. Also nine Popes. Her memory spanned cultures from the beauty of the Belle Epoque to the Jazz Age to great movie musicals, rock & roll, and the myriad names that characterize modern music. Richard Strauss's great opera, Der Rosenkavalier, premiered three days after her birth, and Igor Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps caused a riot at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris only two years later. She was born only eight years after the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk and lived to see man walk on the Moon and sophisticated rovers roll over the Martian landscape. Radio was a nascent technology at her birth, and she lived to see the advent of high definition television. She lived and worked for a time in the greatest metropolis of her times, New York City, yet settled and lived most of her life in a small town in northern Michigan. The list of developments and changes in her lifetime could go on and on.
Emily died August 4, 2011, of congestive heart failure. Although she suffered mild dementia for a decade before her death, and had been unable to move about on her own for several years, she was alert and conversant to the end, as witnessed by her sons, grandchildren, and many relatives at her 100th birthday in January 2011.
Much of what we know of Emily's years until we (her children) were young has been learned through letters, and most of those are her mother's letters she saved religiously -- Wilma wrote her faithfully, at least once a week, from 1928 well into the 70s. I've found a few key letters written by Emily that Wilma saved, and those have sometimes been invaluable. We have all letters she wrote her husband during lengthy periods of separation in the period 1945-1949. A brief chronology of Emily's life: