Virginia L. Bates

Virginia L. “Ginny” Bates peacefully passed at age 74 in her Arkport home early Monday, February 7th 2022, after a long battle.

Born in Rochester, NY on Feb 18th, 1947 to Leonard & Ferne Suss Nuijens.

Ginny grew up in Penfield, NY, where she graduated from high school in 1965 before receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Oswego.

She was married to Robert “Bob” Bates in 1970, before moving to Arkport in 1975. Ginny spent over 30 years helping her community through her work at SCAP/Arbor Housing, where she helped improve the lives (and homes) of 1000’s of her neighbors across the Southern Tier. In the 1990’s, she was a key activist involved in the Anti-Nuclear Waste Dumping movement and was an integral part of successfully keeping our community free from radioactive contamination.  She continued her work till the end.

At home, Ginny was a passionate creator and maker. Cooking was more than a means for her, it was a lifestyle, and has been called the “world’s best home cook” in major US and International publications and has had recipes published in Wine Spectator. Known for cooking dishes far ahead of her time, she influenced the world of cuisine through her love of cooking and creativity, which she has passed on through her son. Additionally, she was an avid gardener, pickler, home canner, soap and lotion maker and wrangler of cats, sheep, neighborhood children and other animals. Gin made a mean martini.

She was a voracious collector of cookbooks, plasticware and all things food and cooking. She was a fervent supporter of Penzy’s, F. Olivers and Asian grocers across NY.

She is survived by her husband Bob; son Christopher and his wife Isabel; brother Tom and wife Peggy; a VacMaster VP215 and god knows how many cats. She will live on in the hearts of many, many dear friends.

Ginny requests no calling hours and that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name be made to the Hornell Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Road, Hornell, NY 14843. And if you are buying, she will have an iced tea as well.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.

8 Responses to “Virginia L. Bates”

  1. Barbara Lamphere says:

    We all have a number of different families during our lives. Our “housing” family is a particularly close one. Ginny was a long time member of that dedicated group. Even when members leave a particular housing job, the dedication to improving housing opportunities for low income people continues. Ginny was always there. She was always the life of the party making sure wine and snacks were available on our lobbying trips.
    Ginny you can rest now. Your work is done. I extend much love and hugs along witrh prsyers to comfort Bob and Christopher

  2. Shawn D. Hogan says:

    Ginny Bates, truly a wonderful person who shared her love of her fellow man most abundantly. She worked hard and was dedicated to betterment of clients and people she served. I always enjoyed our work together of various projects helping create better housing opportunities and more liveable communities.
    One of the “Better Angels” among us. Rest in Peace my friend.

  3. TIMOTHY S LLOYD says:

    Ginny was a wonderful friend and I am saddened to hear of her passing. I got to know Ginny very well during the Nuke Dump fight back in the late 80s into the early 90s, as we owned property together for a long time after that that was across from the West Almond site that was slated for the dump ( which thanks to people like Ginny and many others never happened ) and she has been there for me on many occasions through my journey of trials and tribulations.

    She was a wonderful human being as well who truly cared about people, her family , her animals and the environment.

    I had not seen Ginny in quite a while, the last communication I had with her was in December 2020 through email.
    We were talking about getting together that summer and it never happened.
    My heart goes out to Bob and Chris and all her extended family and friends as she will be missed greatly.

    God bless ,
    Tim Lloyd

  4. Lucia Raimondi says:

    I did not have the opportunity to meet Mrs Virginia Bates in person, but I did know her through her son Christopher. A few years ago, soon after graduating and working for a while in Chicago, through a mutual friend, Christopher came to Verona, Italy, and his first job was harvest at my winery Villa Monteleone; he did harvest with us two years in a row, worked very hard and made everlasting friendships in spite of speaking very little Italian . Mrs Bates without a doubt raised a fine son, one of which she could be proud.
    Dear Christopher, Isabel and Mr Robert Bates – my friends, my sister and I wish you comfort over these tough days and months and that your loving memories of her will easy your sorrow.
    With our love and prayers,
    Hernán and Clemencia Tobon
    Anita DiVittorio
    Olga Duran
    Lucia Raimondi

  5. Lenny Skrill says:

    My condolences to Bob and Christopher . I’m hard broken to hear of Ginny’s passing . She made the world a better place . Her generous some time with Ginny and 50 of those 1000 neighbors she tried to help . She loved her neighbors and they loved and trusted her . Through that love and trust they allowed her to help them improve their lives . Ginny was a great lady and immensely good person . I’ll will miss her dearly

  6. Tiffany Pakkala Wilson says:

    Growing up with Chris I have many fond memories of Ms. Ginny, from the times she was our substitute teacher in 2nd grade to later years when she was cheering Chris on in his many culinary experiments and taking it in stride when her house was full of teenagers. She was always such a witty, joyful lady who had a million things going on yet seemed to handle it all with ease. I pray God brings Chris and Bob comfort in their loss and joy in the memories of a very special lady.

  7. Dawn Snyder says:

    I was blessed to know Ginny when I worked at Arbor Housing in Bath. She was always such a joy to talk to and share recipes with.She got me started on using flavored oils and spices from Oliver’s.
    She was so proud of her family and excited about anything they did. I will surely miss her. RIP dear sweet lady.

  8. Susan Feingold Jamison says:

    After reading the above comments, I was reminded of what an amazing life Ginny had. The world is a better place because of her many contributions. She will be dearly missed by her family, myself, many other friends and aquaintences, and most of all by her cats.