Betty Jean Byrd Bates, 77, a life long resident of Benton, passed away Thursday, August 12, 2010 at the family residence. She was a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. Mrs. Bates was the daughter of the late Thomas Edward Byrd and Tennie Lankford Byrd. She is survived by her husband, Billy Gene Bates of Benton; two children and spouses: Patricia Mull Shannon and Stanley Shannon and Jeffrey and Kathleen Bates all of Benton; grandchildren and spouses: Jason Mull and Lori Mull, Heather Mull Brock and Dan Brock, Shane Mull and Brooke Mull, Cheyenne Bates, Casey Bates, and step-grandchild and spouse Debra Patel and Richie Patel; great-grandchildren: Chase Mull, Chloe Brock, Spenser Mull, Mallorie Brock, Sean Brock, Katelyn Mull, Braxton Fowler and Braylon Mull; step-great-grandchildren: Trina Patel, Nina Patel, Phoenix Patel and Angel Patel; ; special friend Derrick Saxe; nephew, Tommy Cummings. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, August 15, 2010 in the chapel of Higgins Funeral Home with Rev. John Bivens officiating. Interment will follow in Benton Cemetery with white dove release ceremony concluding the service. Her family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the funeral home. We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Bates family guestbook at www.higginsfuneral.com.