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Appreciation - Jim Bates

Occasionally in life one encounters a special someone whose similar interests and involvements help to create a lasting friendship. For me, Jim Bates was just such a person, and I and everyone in Salisbury will dearly miss Jim and his community involvement, which was done with such warmth and dedication. Jim learned early on as a student at Salisbury School that giving back to the community was a vitally important part of his being. He embraced the lesson of service to others for the rest of his life.Jim and I first met as brand new teachers at secondary school ­­— he at Salisbury and me at The Gunnery. Our paths were to cross many times over the next 46 years, as both of us returned to our alma maters and worked in the development offices at Salisbury and Hotchkiss. Later on, we were deeply committed to Sharon Hospital and served on that institution’s board of trustees, where both of us held a term as president. His many community involvements have been cited already in the obituary that was printed in this paper several weeks ago. One involvement that was omitted from that list was his passion for barbershop singing with the local group, The HousaTonics. Once again, it was Jim’s obvious enjoyment of the fellowship of that group that induced me to join. At Jim’s memorial service on Nov. 22 in the Salisbury School chapel, there will be many representatives from Sharon Hospital present as well as the current members of The HousaTonics to pay their respects to Jim and to celebrate a life well-lived. Jim’s example of giving back to his community should be a lesson for all of us. Rusty ChandlerSalisbury

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