Cover photo for Joseph Robert Bates's Obituary
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1932 Joseph Robert "Bob" Bates 2024

Joseph Robert Bates

February 6, 1932 — February 15, 2024

Independence, MO

Joseph Robert “Bob” Bates, Sr, age 92, of Independence, Missouri, passed away peacefully on February 15, 2024, surrounded by family and loved ones. 

Services will be held at 4 PM Sunday, February 25, 2024, at the Church of Jesus Christ Saint’s Haven Restoration Branch 300 Chicago Ave, Sibley, MO 64088. Visitation will be prior to the service at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in his name to the Saints Haven Oblation Fund. Contributions may be sent to Saints Haven c/o Rowena Hughes, Treasurer 2611 S Baker Rd Independence, MO 64057 “Joseph Robert Bates Memorial”. And Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Camp scholarship fund. https://www.hoac-bsa.org/ friends-of-scouting. 

Bob was born February 6, 1932, to Joseph Bates and Alice Loie (nee:Levitt) (Kilpatrick) Bates in Senlac, Saskatchewan, Canada. The family immigrated to the United States in 1937, settling in Milan, Michigan. Joseph Robert Bates was baptized into covenant with Jesus Christ September 14, 1941, in Azalia, Michigan, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In 1942 the family relocated to Independence, Missouri. A life long scout, Bob achieved the God and Country Award and Eagle Scout in 1947. He was ordained a deacon in 1949 and graduated from William Chrisman High School 1950. 

Bob married Margaret “Marge” Josephine (Robertson) Bates July 9, 1951. To this union was born 4 children, Joseph Robert Jr, David Michael, Mary Alice, and Barbara Ellen. Bob and Marge both served in the Air Force with the historical distinction that they were the first Air Force couple to be stationed together overseas in Wiesbaden, Germany. Bob served his country in the United States Air Force from 1951 - 1971. Among his assignments were Maxwell AFB Montgomery, AL; Lackland AFB & Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX; Wiesbaden Air Base, Germany; Wheelex AFB Tripoli, Libya; England AFB Alexandria, LA; Moore AFB, Mission, TX; Webb AFB Big Springs, TX; Moody AFB, Valdosta, GA; North Tonawanda, NY; Loring AFB Limestone, ME; Elmendorf AFB Anchorage, AK; Naha AFB Okinawa, Japan. 

Some highlights in service to his country were his completion of 4 years of college, becoming a fighter pilot and achieving the rank of captain. While stationed at Loring AFB in Maine, Bob flew his F-106 at Mach-2, twice the speed of sound. At Elmendorf AFB Anchorage, AK, Bob flew F-102s, was ordained an Elder and pastored the Anchorage, Alaska, RLDS church. He helped his F-102 Delta Dagger unit, the 317th, win the Hughes trophy for the best fighter interceptor squad in the US Air Force, three times. Stationed at Naha AFB Okinawa, Bob was pastor of the RLDS congregation and flew dry milk in his bomber bay to the Saint’s mother and child clinic in Korea. Joseph Robert Bates, Sr, was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1971 and relocated his family to Independence, Missouri. He built a home at 614 N Delaware St, was active in the neighborhood council, and was a CPR instructor. Bob’s hobbies included singing in a Barbershop quartet, running marathons for charity, and photography. He had his own photography business with a photo lab in his basement and worked for 15 years as a photographer for Enterprise Engraving in Kansas City. Margaret Josephine Robertson Bates died August 5, 1990, of cancer in Independence, Missouri. 

At a William Chrisman HS class reunion Bob met a former classmate, Katherine Louise (Shakespeare) Shoemaker and they were married December 1, 1990. In this union his family increased with Lynnette, Greg, and Dana. “Bobby” and Kaye embarked on a life of adventure traveling from sea to sea across the United States. They also visited Mexico, Canada, the British Isles, Italy, Germany, and followed the Rhine from Amsterdam to Budapest. Bob enjoyed camping with family and vacations to Branson, which they frequented enough that the personnel knew them by name. Bob was especially pleased to share his dedication to scouting with his grandsons and mentor them in military careers. Bob and Kaye fellowshipped with their faith family at Saints Haven Restoration Branch and enjoyed many friends at the Apple Tree Condominiums. 

Bob was proceeded in death by his first wife Marge, his father Joseph, mother Alice, sister Patricia Loie Reese (Don), and his half brothers and sisters: Evelyn Brandt (William), Mariam Nelson (Jerry), Elinor Myers (Vern), Raymond Kilpatrick (Carol), and Donald Kilpatrick (Dorothy). He is survived by his children: Joseph Robert Bates, Jr (Sandra); David Michael Bates (Karen); Mary Alice Bates-Hegner; Barbara Ellen Bates-Miller and stepchildren Lynnette Calder (Dale); Gregory Shoemaker (Jennifer); and Dana Shelton (Mark). As well as 20 grand-children: Jason Bates (Megan), Jacob Bates, Jerah Nordeen (Monte), Joseph Micah Bates (Jami), Jonah Bates (Morgan), Jesiah Hawley-Bates (Savannah), Phoenix Hegner, Nathaniel Hegner, Megan Burgess (Andy), Forrest Hegner, Joshua Dreher (Cheyenne), Tabetha Painter (Dylan), T Christopher Miller (Brooke), Cameron Calder (Tiffany), Caleb Calder (Thea), Aubrey Troiola (Angelo), G. Curtis Shoemaker (Jaycee), Ashley Marcano (Evan), Megan Shelton, Madison Shelton, and 20 great-grandchildren. We celebrate a life well lived and a great legacy left behind.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Robert Bates, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, February 25, 2024

3:00 - 4:30 pm (Central time)

Saints Haven Restoration Branch

300 Chicago Ave, Sibley, MO 64088

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Celebration of Life

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

Saints Haven Restoration Branch

300 Chicago Ave, Sibley, MO 64088

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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