Robert D. Bates ’53

Robert Duane Bates passed away March 18, 2015.  He was born on April 24, 1934, in the Catskill-mountain town of Walton, New York. Son of Dr. Floyd R. and Mrs. Mildred (nee Churchill) Bates, Bob grew up spending hours outdoors in the mountain air, camping, fishing, and hunting with his parents and beloved dog, Bonnie. Back indoors, Bob thoroughly enjoyed studying music, and, after mastering the piano, he went on to teach himself the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica; later in life, he liked to say that he also “fiddled around with the fiddle.”

In the late 1960’s, Bob moved to central New York State, where he soon met his future wife, Marilou (nee Matuszak) Bates of Elmira, New York. Bob and Marilou were married in 1970 and welcomed into the world their own children – a son and twin daughters.

After 45 years of marriage, Bob is survived by his wife, Marilou, of Cortland, New York; by his two children: son John Francis Bates, also of Cortland; and daughter Margaret Aileen Koch of Wenatchee, WA; as well as by many loving in-laws, nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his devoted parents and by his infant daughter, Kathleen, who went to be with the Lord in 1973.

Bob will further be missed by his oldest grandson, John Francis Smith-Bates of Ithaca, New York, and by his son-in-law Robert James, grandson Joshua Michael, and granddaughter Caitlin Elizabeth Koch, all of Wenatchee, WA.

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