Robert “Bob” D. Bates
December 23, 1949 - December 10, 2021
The Bates family is saddened to announce that Robert “Bob” Bates passed away on Friday, December 10 following complications from a heart episode in Burlington, VT. Bob was born in Gardner, ME to James and Lora Bates.
Following his high school graduation from Burlington High School, Bob attended and graduated from the University of Vermont (UVM), where he met the love of his life, Joan (Hansen). While attending UVM, Bob became a Charter Member of the Phi Gamma Delta “Fiji” Fraternity. Bob and Joan were married on August 7, 1971 and recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary surrounded by friends and family including several brothers from the Fiji Fraternity.
Following his time at UVM, Bob taught briefly in the town of Danville, VT before attending Ohio University for graduate school. Bob and Joan moved to Dummerston, VT where he began his career as a High School Counselor at Brattleboro High School. During their time in Dummerston their family grew to five, with the arrival of David, Miguel and Rebekha via adoption. Bob and Joan also fostered another son, Jim (Holway) whom they adopted as an adult. The family moved to Essex, VT in the Summer of 1990, where Bob got a job as a High School Counselor at Essex High School. Upon retirement from Counseling he remained an active advocate for changes to the education system.
Bob was a beloved member of the Essex Community and was active in various ministries through the Covenant Community Church, including leading the congregation through song as parts of several musical ensembles. He also served the community through the local food bank as a volunteer for food distribution. An avid musician, Bob was a classically trained violinist who self-taught how to play the guitar. Bob was also a singer and was a member of several church choirs over the years.
Bob had several passions in life. Beyond his aforementioned love of music, Bob enjoyed traveling around the State of Vermont and finding new fishing holes. He enjoyed both fly fishing and bait-fishing. He shared this love of fishing with his children, as well as his love of music. Bob also loved sports, particularly Basketball (a sport he lettered in High School) and Baseball. Bob was a 2nd generation Red Sox fan, having learned from his Father Jim and was an avid UVM Men’s Basketball fan. He shared this love of sports with his family and supported his children’s pursuits of sports.
Bob is survived by his wife Joan (Hansen), his four children Jim Holway (Kerry), David, Miguel (Artemia), and Rebekha (Eric), and his sister Brenda (Stuart Armstrong). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Trevor, Ed, Christian, Andrew, Elise, Keziah, Max and AJ. He is predeceased by his parents Jim and Lora and his brother Brian.
A celebration of life service will be held on Tuesday, December 28 at 2:00 PM. In-person for family only and virtual options are available for everyone else. The in-person service will take place at the Covenant Community Church, 1 Whitcomb Meadows, Essex, VT.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to EJU Food Shelf, c/o Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, PO Box 495, Jericho, VT 05465.