Ernestine Fletcher Bates was born July 1, 1948 to the late Ernest Fletcher and Sarah Fletcher in Jacksonville, Georgia. She is preceded in death by sisters, Jerry Ann Fletcher and Beulah Ferrebee; and brothers, Baby Fletcher, William “Bill” Fletcher, John “Bobby” Fletcher, Otis Fletcher, & E.T. Fletcher, Sr.
Ernestine was a graduate of Telfair County High School where she played on the Girls Basketball Team. She continued her education and graduated from Lewis Business College in Detroit, MI. While in Detroit she met and married Sidney H. Bates, Jr. From this union two children were born, Sidney H. Bates, III and Sidnitra Christine Bates.
Ms. Bates adored her family and she expressed that love every chance she had. Her family adored her as well. Her beloved niece, Sonya Fletcher, her surrogate daughter, spent countless hours fellowshipping with her and running errands when she could not. She was a long-time member and supporter of the Gospel Train, where her brothers Bobby and E.T. sojourned for over 30 years.
Ms. Ernestine graced this planet with her superior cooking and baking expertise and passed those skills on to her children and grandchildren. She was incredibly creative, and she enjoyed reading, listening to gospel music and watching westerns. Professionally, she was an English teacher, a Petroleum Oil Business Owner & Real Estate Office Manager.
Her favorite book, “Apples of Gold,” provided her with inspiration from which it draws from another favorite book of hers, the Holy Bible. Ernestine accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and lived a life of prayer and devotion. She is a long-standing member of Wesley Chapel C.M.E. Church.
She leaves to cherish her memory: Two children: Sidney H. Bates of McRae, Georgia, Sidnitra C. Bates of District Heights, MD; two brothers: James “Bud” Fletcher of McRae, GA, Rev. Franklin D. Fletcher (Mary) of Savannah, GA; six grandchildren: Shaun Brown, Kevin Smalls, Jr., Brittany Bates, Ashley Haley, Kaesha Bates & Zion Lawson; three great grandchildren: LaVarion Brown, Tyree Haley & Bryson Bates; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and loved ones.
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