Nancy Jane Bates, 78, Hays, died Saturday, May 6, 2017, at her home.

She was born Nov. 18, 1938, in Beloit to Chester and Lorena (Irey) Fink. She was raised in Downs, graduated from Downs High School in 1956 and attended Fort Hays State College.

She married Donald M. Morehead in 1958. She later married Harry L. Bates on Aug. 20, 1964, in Beloit. He preceded her in death Oct. 28, 2005. She was the administrative secretary for 26 years at the First United Methodist Church in Hays, and retired in 2013. She moved to Hays in 1971 from Downs and was very active in the church and community.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Church Choir, P.E.O., Delta Zeta, Bridge Club, Hays Senior Center and the Sweet Adeline Chorus.

She enjoyed being a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She loved the Lord, and tried to live her life as a disciple of Christ. Music was a very important part of her life and she enjoyed singing until her health no longer permitted.

Survivors include a son, Stephen Bates, Overland Park; two daughters, Theresa Averack, Cheshire, Conn., and Tracey Bates, Hays; a brother, Roger Fink and wife, Jean, Smolan; three grandchildren, Amanda Jane Langer and husband, Dr. Peter, Danielle May Bates and Aidan Neal Bates.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a granddaughter, Emily Lorena Averack; and a brother, Rev. Stephen C. Fink.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 7th and Ash, Hays; inurnment will be at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Downs Cemetery.

Family will receive friends from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the church.

Memorials are suggested to The First United Methodist Church, Hays, Hays Senior Center, United Methodist Church, Downs or Hospice of Hays Medical Center.

Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 E. 22nd, Hays, KS 67601, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences can be left by guestbook at or can be sent via e-mail to