Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


September 12, 2013

Robert Bates

Pershing — Funeral services for Robert Bates, of Pershing, were held on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, with Pastor Ron Wallace officiating.  Burial followed in the Zion Cemetery, Pershing.  “Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone” and “Old Rugged Cross” were shared.  Casket bearers included  Nick Bates, Brad Bates, Michael Pregon, Josh isley, Chris Bates, Andy Bates, Davey Pregon, Cory Pregon and Shawn Isley.  Honorary casket bearer was Caleb Vermeer. 

Robert Harley Bates was born on Aug. 30, 1940, in Kellogg, Iowa, the son of Glen Bates and Marguerite Adeline (Roland) Bates.

Following school, Robert began farming. He then went to school to be certified as a heavy equipment operator and began working in construction, helping in the building of Red Rock Dam. He also worked in the coal mines for his Uncle Ben and then later for Pella Rolscreen.  He was united in marriage to Rita Kay Toigo on Sept. 1, 1962.

Robert loved gardening, mushroom hunting, going to the casino, and coon hunting with his dogs.  He was a proud grandpa who loved every minute with his grandkids, teaching them everything he knew about nature and how to shoot guns.  Most of all, Robert enjoyed family dinners and the time spent with those he loved most.

Robert passed away on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, at Park Centre in Newton at the age of 73 years. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Rita; and his sister, Donna Williams.

Survivors include his children: Bobby (Sherry), Janet (Dave) Pregon, Joni (William) Isley all of Knoxville, Judy (Kevin) Vermeer of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Richard (Kim) of Newton; 15 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; sisters Glenda Williams of Pershing, Emma Bates and Dolly Anderson of Knoxville, Patty (Leroy) Ingram of Williamson and Dixie (Danny) Willett of Alpena, South Dakota.

For those desiring, memorial contributions may made to the family to help purchase a monument for Robert & Rita.  Online condolences may be left at

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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