Robert Johnston Bates passed away on August 7, 2011, at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife, Helen; and three children: Rick (Kelli), Pat and Ken (Janet); six grandchildren: Tara (Ken), Eric (Ayumi), Dylan, Josh, Bronwyn and Maxwell; and two great-grandchildren, Audra and Keita. He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Anne Bates; and nine siblings: Wray, Violet, Jimmy, Wilbur, Doug, Cecil, Stan, Stewart and Harvey.

Robert was born at Birch River, Manitoba, and lived and worked in the area until he went overseas in 1941 where he served with the Canadian Army until 1946. He was proud to serve his country and was part of the unit that liberated Holland. A few years after his return to Canada he met and married Helen Rogalsky in 1950 and soon after settled in B.C. The family lived at Christina Lake for 10 years prior to moving to Grand Forks in 1966.

He was a member of the IUOE, Local 115, and worked on many highways and dams throughout the province. He loved to work in his shop where he made numerous items and sold them at the Farmer’s Market in Grand Forks. He also loved playing the fiddle and entertaining the youngsters that stopped by for a visit.

Robert was living independently with Helen until his death. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. No service by request. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Springfield Funeral Home had care of arrangements.

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