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About Us


Darren M. Bates, licensed funeral director/embalmer by the State of Illinois; Founder and President of Bates Funeral & Cremation Service has worked diligently, serving Southern Illinois and the Greater Metropolitan Chicagoland area for over a decade. His passion and commitment to the funeral service profession is simply observed and recognized with each family he serves.

"Darren, you did such a wonderful job! Everything was perfect! Thank you and your staff for coming in so quickly and taking care of things for us. You will be in my prayers always. You will be blessed!"

The Wright Family

As a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelors of Applied Sciences and Arts in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service, Darren’s extensive training and education has allowed him to facilitate meaningful and lasting tributes for many families after the loss of a loved one. Traditional or understatedly elaborate, Mr. Bates understands that the ever changing world which inspires today’s funeral arrangements are as individual and unique as each life being memorialized.

1994 was a pivotal year for Darren as a student at Marie Curie High School. The loss of his great-grandmother; his beloved “Big Mama,” opened his eyes to the world in which he would eventually help to redesign for a new generation of funeral directors. Darren observed as the funeral director helped guide his family through the darkness of this grievous life transition - the passing of the family's matriarch. It was in those moments that young Darren realized his own calling. He then understood why even as a young child he would often tag along with his grandmother because he “had to be at everybody’s funeral.”

His Goal - Giving Back. Giving back to the community through information and education while helping ease the grief of others. Being a guide to bereaved families who have no idea of what to do or where to start. Mr. Bates is honest and dedicated to providing quality, affordable service options to meet the needs of each family he is privileged to serve. He is committed to excellence and believes that his work of offering intimate personal service will impact the lives of many families for years to come.

"Mr. Bates is a truly competent funeral director. He helped me with my own pre-arrangements so that I will not be a burden to my family. It also allowed me to arrange to be laid to rest with my family. What I... did not realize, is that what you have in your mind to happen might not always be the case. My sister, who passed away, wanted to be buried next to our father. When the time came, that plot was no longer available and caused us to think and plan. Mr. Bates really made the process understandable, clear and affordable. Thank you Mr. Bates for your expert care!"

Evangelist Pamela B. Porch

Founding Bates Funeral & Cremation Service has allowed Mr. Bates to share the intimate gifts of compassion and personalization to help bereaved families through one of their toughest times. He is worthy of your family’s personal trust. Whenever contacted by a family who has lost a loved one, Darren makes things as convenient as possible, often meeting with them and making arrangements in the comforts of their own home. Mr. Bates handles things as quickly, professionally and with the utmost care possible. 

A fixture in the funeral service community, Mr. Bates is a member of:

  • Illinois Funeral Directors Association (IFDA)
  • National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)
  • Sigma Phi Sigma (Mortuary Science Honors Fraternity)
  • Noted as the first African-American male to place first in Southern Illinois University’s Annual Advanced Embalming Colloquium.

Mr. Bates continues to serve SIU’s Mortuary Science and Funeral Service Program as a member of the American Board of Funeral Service Education’s (ABFSE) Advisory Committee and serves as preceptor and mentor for many Chicago-area mortuary science students. 

Mr. Bates is humbled and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be of service to families in their time of need. You can count on Darren M. Bates & the staff of Bates Funeral & Cremation Service to help you plan a personal, lasting tribute to your loved one. Mr. Bates & his very capable staff of professionals will carefully guide you through the many decisions that must be made during this challenging time with FAITH, DIGNITY & COMPASSION.

You are welcome to call at any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, schedule an in-home consultation at your convenience. 

We also provide a wealth of information here on our web site so you can learn more from the privacy of your own home.

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