Taffy Bates, 1918-2014
Taffy Bates died peacefully in her Florida home Sunday, October 19, 2014. She was 96. Born Helen Rosen in Queens, New York, “Taffy,” a name she fashioned for herself, volunteered for duty as an Army nurse during World War II. She railed against the inequities she found like curfews and lesser pay for nurses. She served in Louisiana as well as Texas and cared for the wounded near the front in the European Theater from the fall of 1944 until the war’s end. She left the Army after the war.
Taffy Rosen met then-Major Paul L. Bates at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, early during his years with the 761st Tank Battalion and she married him after the war. They had one son, Paul Jr. After Colonel Paul Bates’ retirement they looked at moving to Spain, but settled outside Tampa, Florida, in 1967, in a home designed by talented Paul Jr. Taffy became active in medicine and women’s medical rights. The Bates' love affair continued after Paul Sr.’s death in 1995. She spent her last 20 years keeping Paul Bates' memory alive. Her one wish: to join him again. She will be buried with her husband at Arlington Cemetery.
Arlington National Cemetery website
August 1993 alumni magazine article about Col. Bates (courtesy of Baron Bates)