Shawn is the son of Bucky and the late Marilyn Bates, lifetime residents of Locust Grove. As well, he is the grandson of the late Johnny and Pat Bates and the late Christine and 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 short time back in Mayes County working for the 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 "Missy" McKinzie. They have two sons, Robert William (LGHS class of 2017) and Caleb McCrae (LGHS class of 2019). Both played football and graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Will works for Southwest Airlines and is married to Caitlyn. They live in Keller, Texas with their beloved dog, Poppy. Caleb is currently working on his Masters Degree and works for ABC Supply Company in Edmond, Oklahoma.
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 is a licensed minister who loves serving God and helping others. As well, he is a die-hard Locust Grove Pirates supporter and alumnus. Shawn is also the proud brother of Lisa Becerra (a 35+ year retired Pryor Schools teacher), 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 and Chris Williams, Blake Becerra, and Brier and Gunner Howard (daughter and son of brother-in-law and sister-in-law Cody and Jennifer Howard of Bristow).
Melissa "Missy" (McKinzie) Bates is originally from Depew, Oklahoma. She is the daughter of Tammy Howard, granddaughter of the late Basil and Trela 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, Missy 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. She is currently working to become a licensed funeral director.
Missy and Shawn have two sons, Robert William (LGHS class of 2017) and Caleb McCrae (LGHS class of 2019). Both played football and graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. Will works for Southwest Airlines and is married to Caitlyn. They live in Keller, Texas with their beloved dog, Poppy. Caleb is currently working on his Masters Degree and works for ABC Supply Company in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Missy is the proud aunt of Brier and Gunner Howard (daughter and son of her brother Cody and sister-in-law Jennifer Howard of Bristow) as well as Christine Williams and Blake Becerra. She is a joy to be around and always has a smile on her face. As well as being creative, Missy is also a very talented vocalist.
Mayme (Griffin) Miley is a long time Locust Grove resident. She is a member of the Little Rock Free Will Baptist Church near 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.