Robert Wayne Bates

January 2, 1928August 23, 2017
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Robert "Bob" Wayne Bates 89, resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho passed away Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at his residence at Morningstar Senior Living. He was born January 2, 1928 to Harry and Bertha Bates in Flandreau, SD. He lost his father at a very young age which left his mother to raise four young children on her own. Bob lived in Flandreau and Sioux Falls, SD. He attended the University of Idaho majoring in Forestry. He interrupted college to join the Army and served as a Military Policeman in the Army of Occupation in Japan following WW II. After graduation he accepted a position as Junior Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service assigned to the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona. In 1951 he married Marjorie Ruth Maloney, of Dubois, ID in Flagstaff, AZ. Their first home was a Forest Service owned cabin in Happy Jack, AZ.They subsequently lived in Pecos and Coyote, NM, Payson, AZ, Price, UT, Eagar, AZ, and Albuquerque, NM as he advanced in his career with the Forest Service. Along the way they had three children, Robert, Alan, and Ellen. Marjorie passed away in September 2003. Bob retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1983 and moved to Idaho Falls to be closer to his wife's family and because they loved the area. Bob and Marge built a life there becoming involved in their church and community. Bob was very active with the local historical society and helped plan and build the popular Eagle Rock town at the Museum of Idaho. He loved building and fixing things. He designed and built an air conditioner for a car he owned using parts from a junk yard. He built a car port out of scrap lumber. Bob had a hard childhood and learned how to work hard. He was noted for his attention to detail and insistence on doing the job correctly. Bob was known for his generous nature and was always the first to volunteer when something needed done. In addition to building and repairing things Bob loved history and reading. He loved spending time and relaxing with friends and family. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years Marjorie in 2003, a brother Lyle and sister Delores. Bob is survived by his brother Glenn Bates of Lynchburg, PA, sons Robert, of Corpus Christi, TX, Alan and his wife, Heather, of Tulsa, OK, his daughter Ellen and her husband, Irvin of Colorado Springs, CO, his grandchildren Dana Watts and her husband Adam of Chandler, AZ, Marian Polyard of Colorado Springs, CO, Jillian LaRue and her husband, Brian of Carthage, NY, Logan Bates of Tulsa, OK, and two great grand children Shiloh of Colorado Springs, CO and Georgina of Chandler, AZ. Visitation will be held in in Bobs honor at Buck Miller Hann Funeral Home, Idaho Falls, ID, Sunday, August 27th 6-8 pm. and one hour prior to services on Monday. Funeral Services will be held Monday, August 28th at 11:00 am at First Evangelical Lutheran Church. Interment will be at the Dubois City Cemetery, Dubois ID at 3 pm. Arrangements made under the direction of Buck Miller Hann Funeral home in Idaho Falls ID. Online condolences may be left at


  • Visitation Sunday, August 27, 2017
  • Funeral Service Monday, August 28, 2017
  • Graveside Service Monday, August 28, 2017

Robert Wayne Bates

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August 29, 2017

Members of NARFE Chapter 763 send our sincere condolences to Bob's family at this difficult time. Bob was always kind, always patient, and always cheerful. He was a true gentleman and it has been our pleasure to be associated with him these past many years. Our group will miss him very much.

Nat'l Active & Retired Federal Employees' Association, Chapter 763


August 28, 2017

I am so sorry for your great loss. May the God who "binds up the brokenhearted" and "comforts all who mourn" sustain your family during this challenging time. (Isaiah 61:1,2) With heartfelt sympathy.

August 26, 2017

Uncle Bob was such a nice man. So sorry to hear about his passing--Karin Flanigan