You could truly feel the love, pride and respect as several generations of family and friends gathered for a ceremonious renaming of Carll’s Path in Deer Park at Tell Avenue as the Edward S. Bates Memorial Way. Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Councilman Terence McSweeney and TJ Hatter of New York State Attorney General Letitia James's Office listened as one of his sons and daughters shared memories of their father on what would have been his 96th birthday, as a kind and generous man, a celebrated self-taught artist whose works of art of African subjects were featured in exhibits at the annual Brooklyn Fulton Street Art Fair, Brooklyn Museum, US Supreme Court and the Conklin House in Babylon. Mr. Bates was also an active member of the Fulton Street Arts Consortium and the 20th Century Creators.
Born in 1925, Mr. Bates was later drafted and then sent to the Naval Air Technical Training School in Tennessee as part of the first group of African-Americans to attend. Although, he completed his training with a rank of Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class, segregation prevented him from serving as such on a carrier. Still, as his daughter pointed out, he was very proud to serve his country.
The nationally acclaimed artist was often awarded including awards from BACCA the Babylon Citizens Council on the Arts of which he was also a member and who recently honored his memory with a Town of Babylon Hometown Heroes banner currently on display along Deer Park Ave in Deer Park where he resided. Mr. Bates was a member of the Wyandanch Senior Center since 1997 and worked as an Art Instructor teaching seniors to paint and be creative.
His children and friends alike spoke fondly of the proud WWII Navy veteran who would always be remembered as a great father who took them fishing, shared life stories and painted to bring joy to friends, family and neighbors.