Bates, Rene

Renè Bates

July 10, 1942 - February 27, 2020

René was born on July 10, 1942 in his family’s home to Fred E. Bates and Ruth Katherine (Gunter) Bates in New Hope, Texas.  Seventy-seven years later, he passed away peacefully at his home in McKinney, only 10 miles from where he was born, but worlds apart in so many ways.  René lived a life that most of us can only imagine.  The son of a sharecropper, he came of age under harsh circumstances usually only found in books and movies.  Growing up in rural Texas in the 1940s was not an easy life.  His stories of picking cotton alongside his father (and getting in trouble for loading his sacks with stones), of trips to town in a buggy, and barely having the means to get by, helped to define his strong work ethic, deep sense of ambition and drive to succeed.  When his family relocated to Arlington in the mid-50s, René knew that living in a city was not for him, but neither was being poor.  He was a graduate of Arlington High School.  René was the first in his family to go to college and earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Education from East Texas State University in Commerce.  He married Sheryl Lynn Darcey on July 10, 2002 in McKinney, Texas.  René was a lifelong member of Rhea’s Mill Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas.  He was also an ordained minister. 

Among the many hats he wore, René was a schoolteacher, a rodeo clown, pick-up man and producer, a cowboy-for-hire, a ranch manager, and general rabble-rouser.  He piloted, then crashed and walked away from an airplane that he had no license to fly (as the FAA noted in their resulting Cease and Desist letter).  He briefly took up skydiving, and he hasn’t been legally allowed to enter Mexico since the mid-70’s for reasons he’d rather us not disclose.  He was a successful land broker, a rancher, and he raised Texas longhorns for well over 30 years.

And of course, he was an auctioneer.

He began his career by auctioning livestock in the mid-60’s, and officially established René Bates Auctioneers in 1966.  He began calling on cities and counties to help assist in their disposal of surplus assets, a move that launched his company’s increasing success throughout the 70’s and 80’s.  René Bates Auctioneers was an early adopter of internet sales, and in 1997 became the country’s first municipal online auction company while never losing the “boots on the ground” business practices that defined René Bates Auctioneers from the beginning.

René was a member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association; a lifetime member of the National Auctioneers Association; a member of the Texas Auctioneers Association. In 2011, he was formally inducted into the Texas Auctioneers Hall of Fame. 

If you’ve ever been out to the house, you know he was more colorful than his kitchen, and that’s saying something. He was a larger-than-life husband, father, and friend, and his legacy will live on through the love of his family and the enduring success of his business.  Texas has lost one of its last true cowboys, and he will be genuinely missed.

René is survived by his wife Sheryl Bates of McKinney, Texas; two daughters, Haley Renee Bates and Brad Rhoda of Fort Collins, Colorado and Michelle Renee Bates and Donovan Arwood of Dallas, Texas ; grandson, Duke Bates of Dallas, Texas; granddaughter, Maisie Rhoda of Fort Collins, Colorado; sister, Carol Ann Stanley and husband, Danny of Burleson, Texas; numerous other loving family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Katherine.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 7, 2020 at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home Chapel, 2525 Central Expressway North, Allen, Texas 75013. 

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God bless you and your family. You are missed.
Marlon Avant, March 11, 2020 I was sad to hear the news on the passing of y’all’s father, and I’ve kept you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Please don’t hesitate in reaching out if there’s anything you need. Clint Harris, March 7, 2020 Sheryl, our prayers and sympathy to you and the family. Rene' was one of my first friends when I moved to McKinney many years ago. He was a very special friend with a big smile and ready to talk. I recently visited with him at Best Buy. He will be missed by his many friends and clients.
Lena and Early B. Milstead , March 6, 2020 Unfortunately I only got to know him for a very short time, but in that short time I got to see what a great person he was. I will always thank him for the great opportunity he gave me to work for him. Mr. Bates, you will be sincerely missed. Martinez, March 6, 2020 Michelle, Sheryl and family, WOW - he is and will always be missed. I met Rene at the City of Richardson in 1980. He made an immediate and lasting impression to say the least. Some of his first words to me were "slowly my dear, but sure" in reference to the stick pin he wore on his collar. Not how he lived his life! Thanks to you he most certainly lived a full life. My heart aches for all of you. Carol Cooper, March 5, 2020 Sheryl, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Rene was a wonderful man. He will be missed. Prayers for you. Rhonda Williams, March 4, 2020 Cheryl, so sorry to hear about Rene'. Have lots of good memories from the Saturday nite horse sales on 380 when I was a kid and Rene' sold tack at that sale as he got started. Always enjoyed visiting with him. May God's blessing be with you and the family during this very difficult time. If I can be of any help please don't hesitate to call.
Earl Bourland, March 4, 2020 René was one of a kind and a great man, he will truly be missed by many! My thoughts and prayers go out to Sheryl and family.
Keri Hardin, March 4, 2020 Even though I didn’t see him much, I will still miss that he isn't here. When I did see him, he was always happy and messing with someone. Haha. With his cowboy hat, jeans tucked in his expensive colorful boots, his pink phone and his earring. He was a living legend in our area for so long and will be remembered by many.
Debbie Tate Barch, March 4, 2020 Rene was a good friend and a great supporter of TAA. He was one of the good ones and will be missed. Blessings to his family.
Kathy Humphries, March 4, 2020 Sending sympathy and condolences to the whole family. Rene was a cool dude and he was always fun to talk to when he came to town. God bless you and keep you all during this time. He will be missed! Regina Stephenson, March 4, 2020 Rene always made me smile. He was larger than life. He will be greatly missed. Christy Rowley, March 4, 2020 Sending my condolences, Rene will be greatly missed. Yolanda Scypion-Goudeaux, March 4, 2020 Expressing deepest sympathies and condolences to the Bates family at this difficult time. I am sincerely sorry for your loss. I remember Rene through our association with TAA and He was always kind when we spoke, and I admired him and his accomplishments greatly. Rene will be sorely missed by many and will forever be remembered. May God comfort the family and friends and embrace Rene in Paradise. Valerie Grimm, March 3, 2020 I've been working with Rene to dispose of surplus equipment and supplies for Tarrant County since 1994. I learned a lot from Rene and discovered over the years his diverse and colorful past. He advised me on several topics, which concerned me greatly, haha. He was honest and his integrity was never in question. He was an asset to his profession and I'm glad to have known him. He will be missed.
Rob Cox, Retired Assistant Purchasing Agent, Tarrant County, March 3, 2020 Thank you for your encouragement and most of all your friendship. To the family, "Look to the hills from which cometh thy help, for thy help cometh from the Lord". God Bless!!
Edward McMullen, March 3, 2020 Rene was a pioneer and true legend in the auction industry. His amazing legacy will live on through his wife Sheryl and daughter Michelle. Our family feels your pain as if it was our own. Prayers lifted for peace and comfort during this difficult time. jackie@lemonsauctioneers.com, March 3, 2020 I met Rene for the first time in 1975 when I worked for the city of Grand Prairie and he was doing the city auction. I followed his auctions for many years and considered him a trusted friend over the years. He was bigger than life to me and always greeted you with a smile and good words. A few years ago I went to the ranch to pay for a truck I purchased and told him how smart I thought he was for going to online auctions. He told me he didn’t think so and when I asked why he said “ how long has it been since I have seen you and we had a chance to talk” I will never forget those words from this big hearted man! Fly high my longtime friend you will certainly be missed!
Bobby Atteberry, March 2, 2020 Oh, Rene, we love you and will miss you! Annrankin, March 2, 2020 I met Rene' over 20 years ago. I liked him right away and respected what he had done with his life. I will miss him a lot! Dennis Russell, March 2, 2020 I remember the first electronic auction Rene Bates did for us, at Trinity River Authority. In the past we had always been unhappy with auction proceeds from other auctioneers. So I spoke with the ladies in the office, worked up all the photos, accepted their advice on marketing the junk I was trying to get rid of. When the auction concluded I was tickled to death at the proceeds. As we had given it away in the past by the pallet full. The next day, Rene called me. He was apologizing for the low amount of bid proceeds but if I would not get discouraged he promised it would get better in the future. I was thrilled he took time to mentor me. Needless to say our business relationship developed and I was never disappointed. God bless you and peace be with you. Melody Cannon, March 2, 2020 Deepest sympathy to all for your loss. Trinity River Authority of Texas Mark Schoonover, March 2, 2020 We have been customers of his auction for many years. I hope his work will continue. RIP Sir. ron@ronsmithguns.com, March 2, 2020 I began working with Rene in 1998 when I started with the city of Carrollton. Rene was always very professional and beyond that, I counted him as my friend. He will be missed. Vince Priolo, March 2, 2020 I'm going to miss our visits. Thank you for your friendship over the past 40 years. Ronnie Garner, March 2, 2020 Rene was such a sweet man. Always loved visiting with him, here at the office and also at other public functions y'all are a part of. He will be missed! Angi Mize, Sr. Buyer City of Grand Prairie, March 2, 2020 Rene was a legend! I remember our first meeting you could tell he was a rebel as well as a joy to be around. I loved the way he dressed, especially his colorful boots, a true cowboy and a gentlemen. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to meet him and his family. He will long be remembered for his commitment to TXPPA and the auction business he loved. Rest in Peace Rene.
Vanessa Freeman, March 2, 2020 I ran into Rene many times at the Sam's in McKinney. I always remembered his cowboy hats, colorful boots and attire. I ran into him recently at a restaurant in McKinney. He was a nice man. Prayers to his family. Betty McCarthy, March 2, 2020 May peace and comfort find you in this difficult time. Beth Dorsey, March 1, 2020 What an amazing man. I've only known him and his wife Sheryl for 11 Years. When I entered this profession, he and his wife friended us and offered their expertise to me being new in the business. Many times we have discussed issues that he had expertise in and I am honored to have known him and learned from his vast experience. My profession along with everyone he has crossed paths with will surely miss this great man. Prayers out to the family.
Walt Cade, March 1, 2020 Much love to my dear childhood friends Haley and Michelle. So sorry for your loss. Melinda Wales , March 1, 2020 REP Rene. You lived life to the fullest & crossed some paths that only you could have done. You traveled millions of miles and made millions of friends. God bless you.
Walter Hamm, March 1, 2020 René you will be missed. You always made my sister Jessica and I feel loved, made us feel special, and like there was no “in between” time missed whenever we saw you. Our boys thought you were SO cool, with your Hummer and pink phone case since they were young. You were one of the most genuine, kind, eccentric, cool people I’ve have the pleasure of knowing and having in my life. I’m praying for the rest of the family. Love you all.
Nikki Smith, February 29, 2020 Dear Sheryl, Haley and Michelle, So sorry to hear that Rene’ has passed. He was so very kind to Mike and I as long as we’ve known him - We both worked for Renè in the early 80’s after I left the CCNB for a while - me in his office and Mike worked on the farm on his days off from the McKinney FD. He took us both on several auction trips with him and was always a gracious, generous, entertaining and fun loving host. Sheryl, we had many good memories working together, as well @ the CCNB, so sorry for your loss. We just can’t believe the years have flown by and we grew apart but now wished we could have come by so many times for a visit with Renè and get caught up. There will never be another René Bates, and never has been. Rest In Peace dear friend and May God give you all peace and comfort in the days and weeks ahead. Mike & Carol Jones, February 29, 2020 My prayers and sympathy go out to the family. Rest in peace Rene. Beverly Durham , February 29, 2020 My prayers are with you all. I knew Rene all my life. We were cousins from the Gunter side of our family. Although we were never close, the family talked about him and the good person he was. He will be greatly missed by many. Donna Gunter Wilmeth , February 29, 2020 Sheryl, my deepest heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to you and the family. I first met Rene back in the 70's when we were both young men and we immediately became friends. From then on, we always had a big laugh about one story or another. I'll miss him greatly. God gained another great one that will keep things lively in Heaven.
Ricky Willis, February 29, 2020 Cheryl&Michelle, Rene and you were a great team to work with. Y'all provided us with excellent professional auctioneer services over many years. During that time we have become good friends. I enjoyed discussing his farming and cattle operations since that was also in my growing years, He was a straight shooter and did what he said. He will be deeply missed. Our sincerest condolences. Kenneth Lind, Retired - Ector County Purchasing Agent, February 29, 2020 I have known René Bates as a larger than life character as long as I can remember here in McKinney, Texas. When I bought the piece of property adjacent to his house he stopped by and told me that he and I were going to be the best of friends. He wasn’t telling a lie and held up his end of that bargain. We became the best of friends and partners. I have lots of friends in this world, but only a couple of best friends. I will deeply miss my best friend Rene. Randy Hickman, February 29, 2020 Rene Bates was a hoot. I worked for Rene about 3 years and he was always very good to me. I liked Rene very much and he will be missed by all. I saw Rene recently at Baylor Hospital getting fluids in the chemo lab. He was concerned about my health and always asked how I was doing. He was the same old Rene. He was a good man and everyone that knew him liked him, he was such a people person. As I said before, he will be missed and I am so sorry for the family.
Deb Dahlen, February 29, 2020 Rest In Peace my friend. David Dean , February 29, 2020 Rene was a character and straight shooter. I was glad to have known him and worked with him on many occasions over the last 18 years. He will be missed.
Lawrence N. Oliver, February 29, 2020
Cheryl, Rene WAS larger than life. One of the things I missed when I retired were the clients. You and Rene were among those. I can still see him with those boots. What a nice man! It was a gift to have known him. Prayers for you and his family. Shirley Holsinger, February 29, 2020 So sorry for your loss Sheryl, Rene’ was one of my favorites, he was the same every time I saw him and was always a stand up guy plus he was the only man to drive a tractor to my shop to get a haircut. I loved his sense of humor! I’ll miss him.
Jackie and Sandra Dinsmore, February 28, 2020 My condolences and prayers are with all of you during this very difficult time. Rene was such an inspiration to everyone that knew him. I met him when I was a young girl working gift wrapping at Gibson’s Department Store. I told him, because he was such a nice man that if I ever had children I was going to name one after him . Many years later I did and I named her after him. I used his first name for her middle name. He was a very dear family member to all of us. He will be missed tremendously but never forgotten. His smile was infectious. Rest In Peace.
Joanna Copeland Shropshire , February 28, 2020 Sheryl, my heart breaks for you. Rene' brought my little sister to McKinney when she broke her arm. He was her teacher. He could do no wrong in my eyes since then. He was a very unique, big hearted man and met each person with a smile and gleam in his eyes. My prayers are with you and the rest of the family.
Carolyn McCarley, February 28, 2020