Claude "Trooper" Fon Bates III
04/17/1943 - 11/10/2023
Claude (Trooper) Fon Bates III, age 80, of Sarasota, FL passed away peacefully at Tidewell
Hospice on November 10, 2023.
Trooper was born on April 17, 1943 in Norfolk, Va, He spent his early years in the Norfolk and
Virginia Beach area, graduating from Norview High School in 1961 where he was an
accomplished wrestler, winning the Virginia State Championship.
He enlisted in the US Air Force with his best friend, Gene, in September 1962 where he was
assigned to computation and spent most of his career in Homestead. While in the Air Force,
Trooper continued to compete and went to the US Olympic Trials in 1964. He was honorably
discharged from the military in 1966.
After the Air Force, he found his way to the auto shop and, though he loved cars, his real
passion was the people. One of the first things people mention, when remembering Trooper,
was his kindness. He never met a stranger and was sure to put a smile on your face.
Trooper is survived by his wife, Linda; brother, Fred; daughter, Kelly (Shawn B); stepson, Shawn
K (Crystal); and grandchildren Ryan & Ian (Kelly) and Presly and Paxton (Shawn K)
There will be a small military ceremony at the Sarasota National Cemetery on November 30th
at 2pm. Friends and family are welcome to come, visit with one another, and share their
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Tidewell Hospice ( www.tidewellhospice.org ),
Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation ( www.fcsf.org ), and/or the Sarasota National Cemetery
Advisory Committee ( www.remembervets.us ) Tidewell and Florida Cancer Specialists
provided Trooper and his family with much care and compassion when it was most needed and
the Sarasota National Cemetery Advisory Committee works to increase civic engagement with
the National Cemetery, allowing vets like Trooper to be celebrated.