Cover photo for Montelle Bates III's Obituary

Montelle Bates III

August 26, 1948 — April 28, 2024


Montelle Bates III

After a long battle with pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease, Montelle Bates III passed on Sunday, April 28th. Despite spending time in and out of the hospital, he never lost his sense of humor. Throughout his journey, he cracked jokes, teased the nurses, entertained friends who came to visit, and told stories of the adventures (sometimes misadventures) of his youth. Monty enjoyed many life experiences over the years. Once he retired he spent most of his time with the Harbor Area Model A Club showing off "Alice", and helping to make everyone feel welcome. They would work on each other’s cars, always learning something new and enjoying the comradery that comes with a shared interest and helping one another.   He was always proud to tell people about his time as President and Vice President of the club while also bragging about the wonderful members and what exciting things they were up to next. He had the incredible ability to make others smile, and his sense of humor will be missed. He is survived by his loving family, inclusive of wife, son, sister, brothers and a wide variety of nieces and nephews.  


  • ❤ Monty was born to Gladys Rosalie and Montelle Bates Jr at the Pensacola Naval Base in 1948. He grew up in National City (San Diego) where he enjoyed time with his sisters Dottie and Barbara along with his younger brothers, Benny and Willie.  What stories he could weave and share!

  • ❤ After high school, Monty joined the Navy and served as a medic in Vietnam before getting the opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia, where he fell in love with the culture and beautiful landscape.  It was a time of struggle and war for our young men, and he was no exception.   He was one of the lucky ones and returned home, physically whole but with the scars that come from being part of the war.

  • ❤ Once home in San Diego, he attended Southwestern College and San Diego State University where he pursued his Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

  • ❤ On the campus of Southwestern he met and fell in love with a young woman who would become his wife of 45 years.
  • ❤ Through some unforeseen circumstances he had to withdraw from San Diego State and his pursuit of his Speech Pathology Degree.  In the course of life adventures he met some wonderful friends, who introduced him to his lifelong career in aerospace.  In 1982 they moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, where he began working for Northrop Grumman.  He worked there for the rest of his career; he had the opportunity to wear many different hats over the years, and enjoy many special friendships.

  • ❤ In 1985 they were blessed with their only child; a beautiful baby, who became the apple of his eye; he always referred to our child as “his greatest accomplishment”.  Life after that was one adventure after another.   The years went by so quickly.  The two of them were very close and always cherished their time together.  They both loved to prank Mom any chance they got! 

  • ❤ One day in the early 2000’s Monty decided to take a chance and purchase Alice, a 1931 Model A. Unbeknownst to him, this would introduce him to a whole new world of people and some amazing friends!  He often said, “Who knew that buying an old car would change your life so much!” The Harbor Area Model A Restorer’s Club welcomed them with open arms, even electing him their president and vice president on more than one occasion.  He loved the club and its members and enjoyed the life it created for him and his family.   

  • ❤ Sadly, about 5 years ago Monty started experiencing some issues with his lungs.   He fought a tough battle with several different complications of this disease.  He was very social and did not let his circumstances hold him back.  He participated in activities and traveled with the group, inclusive of oxygen and motorized scooters, whatever it took, to still be part of the things he loved to do and the people he enjoyed.  He was a wonderful example to everyone that has ever faced the physical struggles that come with the inability to breathe or move around.  


  • We are sure each of you has a memory of him that will stay in your heart always 


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