site image
Welcome to the memorial page for

Catherine (Nowicke) Bates

October 24, 1919 ~ July 29, 2017 (age 97)

Catherine Bates, 97, died peacefully at St. Vincent Hospital on Saturday afternoon, July 29, 2017.

She was born to Anthony and Mary Nowicke in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 24, 1919 and grew up there. Catherine and Carl S. Bates were married in Philadelphia on June 20, 1942 and in 1944 moved to Indianapolis, where the couple started Bates Inc. For the next 35 years, she was a partner and a helpmate to her husband in the operation of the art material and photocopy business.

Catherine was a lifelong, faithful Roman Catholic. She was a longtime parishioner of Holy Name Catholic Church in Beech Grove, and she was active in local Republican politics for a number of years. For 25 years, Catherine and Carl spent the winter months each year in Punta Gorda, Florida. She had been a resident of St. Augustine’s Home for the Aged for more than 13 years.

Her children remember a devoted Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, and friend who will be missed in many ways. It was hard to match her endearing and engaging wit, sense of humor, and candor. Like most members of the Greatest Generation, Catherine had an unflappable ability to adapt to whatever circumstances she faced. And right up until the end, she enjoyed immensely her trips to the casino and the chance to have dinner and a glass of wine with her children and grandchildren. The matriarch and prayer warrior of the extended Bates family has been called home.

Catherine was preceded in death by Carl, her husband and best friend of 61 years; and her sisters, Laura Byrne and May Laphen, both of the Philadelphia area.

She is survived by four children, Elizabeth (William) Beck, Indianapolis; Barbara (Kenneth) Kern, Carmel; Carl (Marjory) Bates, Carmel; and Cathleen (Ralph) Purcell, Carmel.

She’s also survived by 13 grandchildren, Lara Beck (Tim Henderson), Indianapolis; Jennifer (Neil) Clayton, Madison, Indiana; Leslie (Scott) Maxwell, Phoenix, Arizona; Lauren (Marty) Brown, Indianapolis; Sister Mary Grace Bates, L.S.P. , Louisville, Kentucky; Sarah (Ivan) Ristic, Carmel; Carl Paul Bates, Carmel; Catherine Bates, Carmel; Brad (Jaclyn) Purcell, Fishers; Austin Purcell, Carmel; Ralph D. Purcell, Carmel: Justin Purcell, Brainerd, Minnesota: and Adam (Paige) Purcell, Brainerd, Minnesota; 12 great-grandchildren, including Taggart Henderson; Avery and Finley Clayton; Adilene Maxwell; Alison Brown; Sophia, Tessa and Mila Ristic; Griffey, Graham and Gus Purcell; and Oliver Purcell.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. at St. Augustine’s Home on Wednesday, August 2. The funeral Mass will be at the chapel of St. Augustine’s Home at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 3. Monsignor Joseph Schaedel, the Pastor at St. Luke Catholic Church who has known Catherine since he was in grade school, will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial.

Memorial contributions may be made in Catherine’s name to the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Augustine’s Home for the Aged, 2345 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260. Online condolences may be offered at

Charitable donations may be made to:

St. Augustine Home for the Aged
2345 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260,

 Service Information

August 2, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
St. Augustine Home for the Aged
2345 W. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46260

Funeral Mass
August 3, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Augustine Home for the Aged
2345 W. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46260

© 2018 Usher Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS