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Robert P. Bates
(1926-2008)

Robert P. Bates was born in Baraboo, Wisconsin on May 15, 1926, the son of Gracia Dutcher and Otto F. Bates, a dealer in real estate. He was drafted in 1944 and chose to serve in the U.S. Navy as a coxswain aboard the U.S.S. Sibley from 1944 until 1946. After returning home he earned his high school diploma in 1947 through a vocational school in Madison, Wisconsin. He lived much of his life in McPherson and Moundridge, Kansas where he worked for 35 years as a printer (multilith operator). He married Ellen Mae Goering in 1948 (she died in 2007). They had a son (Bruce Bates, now in Houston, Texas) and a daughter (Barbara Bates Baker, now in Colorado Springs).

Bates began collecting fossils in 1960 after joining the newly formed rock and mineral club in McPherson. Two years later he attended his first mineral show, in Wichita, and was so impressed by the beauty of minerals that he switched to mineral collecting. He collected in the Mid-Continent mine in Pitcher, Oklahoma, Kanapolis Lake and the Fogle quarry in Kansas, the 79 mine in Arizona, and at other localities, then used the material he collected to trade with collectors around the world.

His mineral collection, at its peak, numbered about 6,500 specimens, plus another 10,000 micromounts, but when he moved to Moundridge he was forced by space constraints to begin selling some of the macro specimens. By June of 1999 he had sold his remaining 1,200-specimen collection of thumbnail-size mineral specimens and 150 miniatures (2 x 2-inch) to New York mineral dealer John Betts. The micromounts were all sold to a collector in Utah in 2008. He died January 18, 2008 in Moundridge, Kansas.

References:
Social Security Death Index
Robert P. Bates (obituary), The Hutchinson [Kansas] News, January 20, 2008.
BAKER, Barbara Bates (2010) Personal communication.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Robert P. Bates Bob Bates
The Mineralogical Record - Robert P. Bates 53 x 70 mm,
A label designed specifically for exchange specimens.
The Mineralogical Record - Robert P. Bates 57 x 101 mm,
A label for his personal collection.
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