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Published: Friday, 6/11/2004

Steel firm executive in MS Hall of Fame

LAMBERTVILLE - Allan Wakefield Bates, chief operations officer of Heidtman Steel Products Inc. in Toledo and an avid volunteer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, died of cancer Monday in the Aspen Grove Village assisted-living facility here. He was 62.

"He was kind, loving, down to earth, always there for his family. And he was an inspiration to many people," Mr. Bates' daughter, Carey Ostas, said.

A Cleveland native, he graduated from Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Mich., in 1960, and later in the 1960s he received a bachelor's degree in metallurgy from Wayne State University.

In 1960, Mr. Bates began working at Detroit Steel alongside his father, Charles W. Bates, who was in sales, Ms Ostas, said.

After working for Ford Motor Co. in Woodhaven, Mich., for several years in the early 1970s, Mr. Bates co-founded the former Enterprise Metal Services steel processing plant in Toledo. He and his father ran the company until it merged with Heidtman Steel in 1975. Since then and until recently, Mr. Bates was in charge of operations, his daughter said.

In his spare time, he enjoyed skiing and scuba diving.

Mr. Bates was an active member of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, riding a bike in MS fund-raisers for 13 years. He was inducted into the MS Hall of Fame in New York City in 1998 and received a Norman Cohn Crystal Hope Award in 2001.

Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Betty; son, Allan W. II; daughters, Carey Ostas and Lisa Jones; father, Charles W.; brother, John; and six grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Services will be held at 2:15 p.m. tomorrow at Christ the King Catholic Church in Toledo. The Michael W. Pawlak Funeral Home, Temperance, is handling arrangements. The family suggests tributes to the Allan W. and Betty M. Bates Scholarship Fund, care of the Bedford Community Foundation in Lambertville.

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