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1932 - 2019

Bobby Lee Cates
Sept. 3, 1932 - Feb. 5, 2019

Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather, husband, uncle,
and friend, Bobby Lee Cates. He was born Sept. 3, 1932, and passed on from this life to be with his Savior on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. He was born in Tulsa, OK to Charles and Ruth Cates and was the youngest of 4 children: Sue Savage, Gene Cates, and Charles "C.W." Cates. He served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1954.After his military service he met his first wife, JoAnne King, when he held the door open for her at his brother's pharmacy in Tulsa. Soon after, they were married and together raised 3 successful children, Kyle Robert Cates, Craig Andrew Cates, and Kathryne "Booger-Red" Cates. Bob studied aeronautical engineering at The University of Oklahoma. He was employed by Aero Commander which later became Gulfstream International where he was an accident investigator until his retirement in 1990. He had a pilot's license and enjoyed flying his family to Tulsa to visit relatives. He was a Cub Scouts pack leader and took many of the scouts for their first airplane ride. In 1991 he found love again and married Marilyn Sue Cates. Bob enjoyed camping, fishing, reading spy novels, building model airplanes, and watching Sooner Football. He also made the best hand-cranked vanilla ice cream you could ever taste. One of his great accomplishments was achieving nearly 30 years of sobriety. Bob is preceded in death by all of his siblings, his step-daughter Angela Kay Beaver, and nephew Mathew Savage. He is survived by JoAnne Cates, his loving wife Marilyn Cates, son Kyle Cates and his wife Terri, son Craig Cates, daughter Kathryne Cates, M.D., and step-son Allen Snider and his wife Christina. Grandchildren include Cate S. Kurtis, Logan Michelle Cates, Layne Emerson Cates, Christopher Allen Snider and wife Hayli, Kayla Marie Nettles and husband Garrett, Karolyn Betsch, and Johnny Whitson, and 2 great grandchildren, Mikah Betsch and Mason Nettles, as well as numerous nieces and nephews all over the country. His family would like to thank all of the doctors and nurses at Baptist Medical Center who took such good care of Bob over the holidays with special thanks to Fred Lybrand III, M.D., Jeffrey Sparling, M.D. and Will Wyatt, M.D. Visitation will be Saturday February 9th 6-8pm at Wilson Funeral Home in El Reno. A special celebration of his life with Military Honors will be held Sunday, February 10th at 3pm at Mt. Zion Methodist Church, 3201 150th NE, El Reno, OK, with hotdogs and his famous vanilla ice cream immediately after the service. Donations in his name can be made to the and Alcoholics Anonymous
Published in The Oklahoman on Feb. 8, 2019
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