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1947 Robert 2024

Robert Bates

September 21, 1947 — January 7, 2024


Robert Thomas “Bob” Bates died January 7, 2024 at the age of 76. He was born September 21, 1947 in Warren, Ohio to Charles Edward “Chuck” and Jesse Frida “Jean” Bates, who preceded him in death. Surviving members of Bob’s family are his wife of 38 years, Diana Horner Bates, his older brother John Walter “Jack” Bates (Cheryl Bates), his younger sister Barbara Jean “Barb” Rich (Larry Rich), daughters Karin Lynn Bates and Amy Elizabeth Bates-Nelson (Russell Nelson), and grandchildren Samuel Chen, Aiden Nelson, and Julian Snyder. Bob is also survived by multiple, well-loved nieces and nephews, and many friends and colleagues.


Bob graduated in 1965 from Greendale High School in Greendale, Wisconsin, where he was a drummer in marching band, an energetic swimmer, and an active participant in clubs and extracurricular activities. He attended University of Wisconsin - Platteville, where he received his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering in 1970. He had worked for the State of Wisconsin WisDOT Bridge Division until 1974, when he relocated to Colorado, where he resided for the next nearly 50 years. Bob was a well known civil engineer in Colorado. He worked for various consulting firms until 1991, when he opened Bates Engineering, Inc. He acted as principal engineer and owner of Bates Engineering, Inc. for 31 years. He designed multiple post-tensioned concrete water storage tanks for many communities around Front Range Colorado. Beyond his exemplary work in engineering, he volunteered for 11 years for Children’s Hospital, drove teams of Clydesdales in local parades and the National Western Stock Show, rode motorcycles, enjoyed fast cars, loved photography, became a small aircraft pilot, ran at least four marathons and participated in triathlons, was a proficient weightlifter, climbed several Colorado 14-thousand foot or higher mountain peaks (“Fourteeners”), was a ballroom dancer, and for several years before his passing, owned, raised, and showed several Borzoi dogs in AKC dog shows. Bob was keenly interested in many hobbies in his lifetime and tried new things with gusto.


What stands out to those who knew Bob was his unending generosity, care of others, and fun sense of humor. He was quick to take colleagues to lunch or support them as a mentor in multiple ways, provided not only for his children and grandchildren, but to others in need, and established a scholarship fund at UW - Platteville for prospective civil engineers. He has been characterized as being a “true gentleman.” Beyond this, he loved gentle teasing and small practical jokes; it was another way he showed his love for and appreciation of others.


A remembrance event for Bob will be forthcoming later in the spring. Should you wish to remember Bob, a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in Bob’s name would be fitting.


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