Robert Barry Bates
March 16, 1946 – September 8, 2019
Robert Barry, “Bob”, Bates, age 73 embarked on his last and best journey on September 8, 2019. Known for his love of travel and adventure, both personally and professionally, Bob was also known for his love of family and his service to others.
Visitation 4-7pm Wednesday September 11th at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, with short prayer service at 5:30. Mass of the Resurrection, Thursday September 12th at 10 am, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 4101 E 105th Terrace, Kansas City MO. All are welcome to stay for a light lunch at the church hall. Private interment.
Bob was born in Cleveland Ohio and predeceased by his parents, Cuthbert and Jean Bates, infant daughter Kristin Barry Bates and brother Brian Bates. He is survived by Jeanne, his wife of 51 years, daughters Courtney Bates Mellor (Kevin) of San Diego, CA, Lindsey Bates of Steamboat Springs CO and granddaughter, Allie Mellor (fiancé Eddie Franco). Courtney, Lindsey and Allie were all able to be with Bob in his final weeks and were a great source of comfort and support. Also remaining to mourn him are his sister Barbara Bates of St. Paul, MN and a large clan of nieces, nephews and cousins in MN.
Bob attended Cretin Academy, St. Paul, and Rockhurst University, Kansas City, before joining the US Navy where he attained the rank of Lieutenant and, after receiving his wings, became a Flight Instructor at VT31, Corpus Christi, TX.
Bob was involved in aviation from his earliest years, attaining a private pilot’s license at age 17. When flying for a commercial airline became an unattainable goal he worked for the FAA and later as Director of Flight Operations for several international airlines providing commercial and passenger service. In that capacity he was at times responsible for transporting cargoes of cattle and sheep to the Middle East, vacationers to Europe and Hawaii and personally supervised the transport of pilgrims from Africa to the Hajj at Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Aviation was a tough business, so a second career beckoned in 1997 when Bob’s love of coffee from around the world led him to open the City Market Coffeehouse, a specialty coffee shop in Kansas City’s Historic City Market. The coffee shop provided a gathering place in the newly developing River Market area, much like a “Cheers” bar but without the alcohol.
With the support of a great staff and for a time, co-ownership of the shop by daughter Courtney, Bob was able to continue his love of travel and adventure with trips to Central and South America, Europe, India, Russia, China, Cuba, New Zealand and Australia and across the US. Personal accomplishments included hiking into and camping in the Grand Canyon three times and the 3-day hike through the Andes on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Both of these while in his 60’s!
Interspersed with travel and his business Bob filled his days with a variety of service opportunities. He was a flight coordinator for Angel Flight Central, matching volunteer pilots with people needing medical transportation to distant hospitals. He was also the transportation coordinator for Catholic Charities’ volunteer driver program and ultimately became an almost-daily driver for Jewish Family Services’ JET Express program providing rides to medical and other appointments for elderly or disabled persons who could no longer drive. His volunteer service at a training center for service dogs turned into an opportunity to adopt Cruiser, a sweet yellow lab who became a great companion at home and on mountain hikes.
Bob put others first. He was kind and considerate, always a gentleman. He was soft-spoken, a good listener and always anticipated the needs of others first. Bob was a good husband, father, brother, brother in law, uncle and friend. He will be greatly missed as we await the time when we meet again.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Bob’s memory to: HELEN WOODWARD ANIMAL CENTER/THERAPEUTIC RIDING PO Box 64 RANCHO SANTA FE SAN DIEGO CA 92067 www.animalcenter.org ANGEL FLIGHT CENTRAL CHARLES WHEELER AIRPORT 10 RICHARDS ROAD KANSAS CITY MO 64116 angelflightcentral.org JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES/JET EXPRESS 5801 W. 115th STE 103 OVERLAND PARK KS 66211 jfskc.org
- Visitation Wednesday, September 11, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, September 12, 2019
- Reception Thursday, September 12, 2019
Robert Barry Bates
September 14, 2019
Jeanne and Family,
Bob was a great man and did much for many.
You all are in our thoughts and prayers.
Pat and Jane
September 11, 2019
Many prayers to you all. Bob was an exceptional man with such a kind heart. There is no doubt his legacy will live on , for he touched many lives and built a beautiful family.
May your fondest memories comfort you at this time of loss- one that is such a win for heaven. 🌈
September 10, 2019
My heart is heavy of hearing this news, though knowing it was immenent. He leaves a wonderful and loving family, a true testimony of his life’s story. He will be sadly missed. A true gentleman he was. Godspeed Bob. And blessings, peace and love to all the family.
September 9, 2019
Godspeed your gentle soul, what a kind man.