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Our Staff

Celebrating Tradition & Setting New Standards in Funeral Service

Our Staff's Commitment to You.


We, the staff of Locust Grove Funeral Home, have the goal to exceed the expectations of the families we serve.

First and foremost, we will serve each family with dignity and the utmost respect. Each family served becomes a member of our own family.

Secondly, our staff members maintain a respectable attitude and provide to families an atmosphere of love and goodwill.

Lastly, staff members of the Locust Grove Funeral Home are dedicated and caring professionals who realize that each family we serve is different and has their own personal wishes and desires to follow. These wishes and desires are of utmost importance and will be followed by each of us..

 

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Shawn Bates Funeral Director & Owner

Shawn is the son of Bucky and Marilyn Bates and grandson of Christine Grass, all lifetime residents of Locust Grove. As well, he is the grandson of the late Johnny and Pat Bates and the late Reverend Bill Grass (a long-time employee of the now closed Wilson-Cunningham Funeral Homes).

Shawn is a 1991 Locust Grove High School graduate. He began his funeral career that summer working with his grandfather at Wilson-Cunningham Funeral Homes. After attending one year at Eastern State College in Wilburton, he transferred to and graduated (December, 1994) from the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service.

Shawn became an employee of Hutchins-Maples Funeral Home in Bristow, Oklahoma, January of 1995. Other than spending a year and a half back in Mayes County working for the now defunct Sentry Group as a funeral home manager, Shawn has spent most of his formative professional years in Bristow. While there, he became manager of Hutchins-Maples Funeral Home and was involved in various community projects. As well, he spent every Sunday morning, for almost three years, hosting a Southern Gospel Radio Show called “The Southern Gospel Jubilee”. One of the greatest things to ever happen to Shawn happened in Bristow when he married the former Melissa McKinzie. They have two sons, Robert William and Caleb McCrae.

Shawn’s goal is to carry on ideas and morals instilled him by his grandfather, the Late Reverend Bill Grass, a funeral service professional and community staple in the Locust Grove area. He lists, along with his grandfather, Floyd and Ginger Cunningham, J. Claire Wilson, Tommy "Mr. T" Thompson of Pryor, and Brent Matherly (his boss in Bristow) as inspirations in his professional life. He is willing to do whatever it takes to serve his God, family, profession, and community to the utmost.

Shawn and his family are now attending the Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Rose, Oklahoma. He is a licensed minister who loves serving God and helping others. He was taught to play the drums by his grandfather and does so on occasion when the Grass Family gets together. Shawn also stays active by helping with youth wrestling, baseball, football, and going to cattle shows with his sons and father. He is an avid Southern Gospel music fan and supporter. As well, he is a die-hard Locust Grove Pirates supporter and alumnus.

Shawn is also the proud brother of Lisa Becerra (a 20+ year 5th grade teacher in Pryor), proud brother-in-law to Bruce Becerra (owner, with his wife Lisa, of B & L Cleaners in Pryor). Lastly, he is a proud uncle to Christine Becerra (OU undergraduate), Blake Becerra (Pryor High School), and Brier Howard (daughter of brother and sister-in-law Cody and Jennifer Howard of Bristow).

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Melissa Bates Operations Manager & Owner missyb@sstelco.com

Melissa (McKinzie) Bates is originally from Depew, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of Tammy and Walter Howard, granddaughter of Trela McKinzie and the late Basil McKinzie, as well as Lorn and Denzyle McGuire. She graduated from Depew High School in 1994, having also attended school in Corpus Christie, Texas. She is a dedicated mother and wife. As well, she assists with funeral home operations.

Prior to moving back to Locust Grove, Melissa served as the Bristow First Baptist Church secretary. She had also worked for Wiggins Properties and spent over 6 years at AmCare Health Plans (Foundation Health). Her hard work and dedication compliments her husband as they serve the community at Locust Grove Funeral Home. She is proud to be a part of a long tradition of funeral service in her husband’s family. As well as being creative, Melissa is also a very talented vocalist.

She enjoys all the activities she gets to be a part of by being the mother of two boys, Will and Caleb. She loves to worship with her church family at Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church and is a joy to be around.  

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Marilyn Bates Office Manager

Marilyn (Grass) Bates is a lifetime resident of Locust Grove, graduating Locust Grove High School in 1965. She is the daughter of Christine (Langley) Grass and the late Reverend Bill Grass. She and Bucky Bates were married on July 8, 1965.

Marilyn is the mother of Shawn Bates and Lisa Becerra and mother-in-law to Melissa and Bruce. She is the proud grandmother of Christine Becerra (OU undergraduate), Blake Becerra (Pryor High School), and Will and Caleb Bates (Locust Grove Schools). She worked in banking for several years. She also worked for Synergy Gas, Tron-Tek, and Locust Grove Schools. After helping Shawn and Melissa part-time with funeral home accounting, she decided to work for them full-time starting in August of 2009.

Marilyn enjoys spending time with her family, especially following her grandchildren in all of their activities. Her work experience is an asset to the Locust Grove Funeral Home.

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Mayme Miley Receptionist

Mayme (Griffin) Miley is a long time Locust Grove resident. She is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Locust Grove where she stays very active. She helps with assisting with visitation at Locust Grove Funeral Home. Her daughter, Tammy, graduated from Locust Grove High School, and is married to Jim Ward, also a Locust Grove High School graduate. Mayme is the proud grandparent of two wonderful children, Remington and Emily.

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Will & Caleb Bates In Training

Although they may not be involved in the every day operations of the Locust Grove Funeral Home, Will and Caleb are very much a part of it.

Will, born October 3, 1998, is the oldest of the two boys. He is active in football, basketball, community service, and high school organizations. He is a former elementary state wrestling placer. Will strives to work hard in all his tasks and aspires to be a college football player.  He plans to study kinesiology.  He is most often found with a smile on his face.

Caleb, born February 1, 2001, is the baby of the family. He stays active by playing football, wrestling, and by doing community service. He is a former elementary state wrestling champion and is a multiple time placer. Caleb is interested in resturant management.

Will and Caleb are growing and active boys. They sometimes help out by delivering flowers to families homes.

Shawn Bates

Funeral Director & Owner
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Shawn is the son of Bucky and Marilyn Bates and grandson of Christine Grass, all lifetime residents of Locust Grove. As well, he is the grandson of the late Johnny and Pat Bates and the late Reverend Bill Grass (a long-time employee of the now closed Wilson-Cunningham Funeral Homes).

Shawn is a 1991 Locust Grove High School graduate. He began his funeral career that summer working with his grandfather at Wilson-Cunningham Funeral Homes. After attending one year at Eastern State College in Wilburton, he transferred to and graduated (December, 1994) from the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, with a Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service.

Shawn became an employee of Hutchins-Maples Funeral Home in Bristow, Oklahoma, January of 1995. Other than spending a year and a half back in Mayes County working for the now defunct Sentry Group as a funeral home manager, Shawn has spent most of his formative professional years in Bristow. While there, he became manager of Hutchins-Maples Funeral Home and was involved in various community projects. As well, he spent every Sunday morning, for almost three years, hosting a Southern Gospel Radio Show called “The Southern Gospel Jubilee”. One of the greatest things to ever happen to Shawn happened in Bristow when he married the former Melissa McKinzie. They have two sons, Robert William and Caleb McCrae.

Shawn’s goal is to carry on ideas and morals instilled him by his grandfather, the Late Reverend Bill Grass, a funeral service professional and community staple in the Locust Grove area. He lists, along with his grandfather, Floyd and Ginger Cunningham, J. Claire Wilson, Tommy "Mr. T" Thompson of Pryor, and Brent Matherly (his boss in Bristow) as inspirations in his professional life. He is willing to do whatever it takes to serve his God, family, profession, and community to the utmost.

Shawn and his family are now attending the Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Rose, Oklahoma. He is a licensed minister who loves serving God and helping others. He was taught to play the drums by his grandfather and does so on occasion when the Grass Family gets together. Shawn also stays active by helping with youth wrestling, baseball, football, and going to cattle shows with his sons and father. He is an avid Southern Gospel music fan and supporter. As well, he is a die-hard Locust Grove Pirates supporter and alumnus.

Shawn is also the proud brother of Lisa Becerra (a 20+ year 5th grade teacher in Pryor), proud brother-in-law to Bruce Becerra (owner, with his wife Lisa, of B & L Cleaners in Pryor). Lastly, he is a proud uncle to Christine Becerra (OU undergraduate), Blake Becerra (Pryor High School), and Brier Howard (daughter of brother and sister-in-law Cody and Jennifer Howard of Bristow).

Melissa Bates

Operations Manager & Owner
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Melissa (McKinzie) Bates is originally from Depew, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of Tammy and Walter Howard, granddaughter of Trela McKinzie and the late Basil McKinzie, as well as Lorn and Denzyle McGuire. She graduated from Depew High School in 1994, having also attended school in Corpus Christie, Texas. She is a dedicated mother and wife. As well, she assists with funeral home operations.

Prior to moving back to Locust Grove, Melissa served as the Bristow First Baptist Church secretary. She had also worked for Wiggins Properties and spent over 6 years at AmCare Health Plans (Foundation Health). Her hard work and dedication compliments her husband as they serve the community at Locust Grove Funeral Home. She is proud to be a part of a long tradition of funeral service in her husband’s family. As well as being creative, Melissa is also a very talented vocalist.

She enjoys all the activities she gets to be a part of by being the mother of two boys, Will and Caleb. She loves to worship with her church family at Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church and is a joy to be around.  

Marilyn Bates

Office Manager
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Marilyn (Grass) Bates is a lifetime resident of Locust Grove, graduating Locust Grove High School in 1965. She is the daughter of Christine (Langley) Grass and the late Reverend Bill Grass. She and Bucky Bates were married on July 8, 1965.

Marilyn is the mother of Shawn Bates and Lisa Becerra and mother-in-law to Melissa and Bruce. She is the proud grandmother of Christine Becerra (OU undergraduate), Blake Becerra (Pryor High School), and Will and Caleb Bates (Locust Grove Schools). She worked in banking for several years. She also worked for Synergy Gas, Tron-Tek, and Locust Grove Schools. After helping Shawn and Melissa part-time with funeral home accounting, she decided to work for them full-time starting in August of 2009.

Marilyn enjoys spending time with her family, especially following her grandchildren in all of their activities. Her work experience is an asset to the Locust Grove Funeral Home.

Mayme Miley

Receptionist
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Mayme (Griffin) Miley is a long time Locust Grove resident. She is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Locust Grove where she stays very active. She helps with assisting with visitation at Locust Grove Funeral Home. Her daughter, Tammy, graduated from Locust Grove High School, and is married to Jim Ward, also a Locust Grove High School graduate. Mayme is the proud grandparent of two wonderful children, Remington and Emily.

Will & Caleb Bates

In Training
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Although they may not be involved in the every day operations of the Locust Grove Funeral Home, Will and Caleb are very much a part of it.

Will, born October 3, 1998, is the oldest of the two boys. He is active in football, basketball, community service, and high school organizations. He is a former elementary state wrestling placer. Will strives to work hard in all his tasks and aspires to be a college football player.  He plans to study kinesiology.  He is most often found with a smile on his face.

Caleb, born February 1, 2001, is the baby of the family. He stays active by playing football, wrestling, and by doing community service. He is a former elementary state wrestling champion and is a multiple time placer. Caleb is interested in resturant management.

Will and Caleb are growing and active boys. They sometimes help out by delivering flowers to families homes.