Elise Lindegaard Bates was born in Solvang, the third child of six, to Kristen and Thyra Lindegaard. “Lisa” was a sweet child who loved to care for others, a trait that would follow her for more than eight decades.
The family moved to Buellton when Lisa was 9 where she attended Buellton Union Grammar School and Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, making many friends who remained close throughout her life. Prior to graduation, she fell in love with Thomas Bates, a young man from just down the street on Santa Rosa Road.
Lisa wed Thomas in 1951 and the two briefly moved to the Los Angeles area before returning to the Santa Ynez Valley where they welcomed the first of their six children, Mark. They soon moved south, living mostly in the Lakewood area where the family continued growing in size with the births of Jeff, Dean, Amy, Clinton and Scott.
In 1964, the family returned to the Santa Ynez Valley. Lisa immediately became active in community activities. She found time for a career too—helping run the Danish Mill Bakery and Old Danish Food Farms before introducing Elisa's Pretzel Parlor, her very own shop! She was incredibly proud of her eatery, and loved interacting with anyone who entered. She knew no strangers; only friends. And she loved hearing other people's stories.
As 1987 arrived, her youngest child, Scott, was diagnosed with leukemia and died a year later at 25 years of age. While coping with the loss, Lisa sold her shop, and in 1992, she and Thomas moved to Oregon. They enjoyed their retirement and cherished visits from loved ones. Prior to his death, Thomas asked Lisa to return to the Central Coast of California when he was gone. After seven wonderful years in Oregon, the family said goodbye to Thomas and the Golden State once again became her home.
Settling in Paso Robles, Lisa found a new circle of friends and was active in her church. And that was Lisa—serving others with her friendliness, an uproarious laugh and a big smile. She always enjoyed a joke, tending to her roses, sharing meals with family and friends, and any occasion to celebrate her Danish heritage.
Lisa is survived by five children—Mark Bates (Esther) of Solvang, Jeff Bates of Buellton, Dean Bates of Solvang, Clint Bates (Elizabeth) of Utah, and Amy Bates Cano (Tony) of Los Alamos—along with 12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, the last of whom was born in 2017 on her 85th birthday. Lisa also leaves 4 siblings and so many lives she touched along the way.
A celebration of life will be held at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang on Saturday March 17 at 11 AM.
Memorials may be made to Bethania Lutheran Church or the charity of your choice.