FAIRFIELD, CONN. – Ruth McFarlane Bates, a former Southport resident, died July 15 at her home in Monroe, Conn. She was 98.
Bates was born March 6, 1914, in Aberdeen, Miss., to James Crocker McFarlane. Jr and Tallulah Rogers Stephens. She grew up in Aberdeen, graduated from the St. Louis School of Fashion and Design and became a dress designer in St, Louis, Mo.
Her interest in designing formal and casual dresses led to a career with Lord & Taylor in New York City. She married John Williams Bates Jr. and lived in New York City, Redding Ridge, Conn., and West Hollywood.
Bates worked as a bridal registry manager for Geary's of Beverly Hills and then for The Whitney Shop in New Canaan. Her family said she liked to offer "old world" professional advice and guidance to brides-to-be.
Bates is survived by five children: John William Bates III, of San Diego; Pamela Stephens Bates, of Trumbull; Alexander Hamilton (Karen) Bates, of North Branch, Minn.; Bradford Rogers (Marilyn) Bates, of Monroe; and James Crocker McFarlane (Giselle) Bates, of Forest Hills, N.Y.; six grandchildren; five-great grandchildren and 17 nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Monroe or Christian Appalachian Project, 2610 Palumbo Drive, Lexington, KY 40509.
A memorial service at St Peter's Episcopal Church will be announced at a later date. A private committal service will be held in Fairfield. Lesko and Polke Funeral Home in Fairfield Center is handling arrangements.