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Elijah Demetrius Bates, of Cobbs Creek, Virginia and a sophomore at Mathews High School, died unexpectedly in Orange County, Virginia on Dec. 26, 2021. Elijah was on the track team and loved to play basketball; however, his family was always first. He was a health-conscious young man and made sure to stay in shape.

Biological father Ryan A. Smith, paternal grandfather George A. Smith and his maternal grandfather, Carlton C. Hughes, preceded Elijah in death. His mother Maria Hughes, earthly father Wendell Elijah Bates, sisters Chasity Hearn and Yasmine Newton, grandparents Delphia Ferguson (Mark), Dyretta Bates, Cassandra Kelly, Maternal Great-Grandparents Mr. and Mrs. St. Elmo and Janette Smith, Paternal Great-Grandmother Sandra L. Kelly, Annie Mae Blackwell, Uncle Carlos Hughes, Aunt Jordan A. Smith and a host of cousins, great-uncles, and great-aunts survive him.

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at 11 a.m., the family will receive friends in Newington Baptist Church, 6169 Main Street, Gloucester, Va., 23061. The funeral service will begin at noon, officiated by Reverend Eric Robinson, and Eulogy by Minister Wesley Cropp, followed by interment at Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, 3061 Buckley Hall Road, Cobbs Creek. Following the burial, the family will gather for fellowship at the Piankatank Ruritan Club, 7138 Buckley Hall Road, Hudgins, Va., 23076. Due to immediate family health issues, everyone in the church must wear a mask. Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.