Robert Nelson Bates, 79, a long-time resident of Nashua, NH, passed into eternal peace on Friday, June 5, 2020 at home surrounded by loved ones.
He was born November 20, 1940, in Ashfield, MA, son of Lewis Edward Bates and Dorothy Louise (Nelson) Townsley. Bob attended Ashfield public schools, graduating from Sanderson Academy in 1959. He attended Northeastern University in Boston.
Bates worked for 44 years in the electronics industry, the last 38 of which as an Industrial Engineer at Sanders Associates and its successor companies, Lockheed Sanders and BAE Systems. Among his achievements, Bob developed TIME, the computer system that Sanders used to estimate labor costs for many years in the late 1980s and 90s. At his retirement at the end of 2005, he was a cost estimator for emerging products.
In addition, beginning in the early 1980s, Bob taught at New Hampshire Vocational-Technical College in Nashua. He headed the Production Management program for several years in addition to teaching Accounting for many years before his 2003 retirement from teaching.
For the first three years of Bob’s retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively. It provided a great chance to meet old friends – and to make new acquaintances. Retirement also afforded Bob the opportunity to write “No Firmer Foundation,” a book about growing up in Ashfield, MA in the 1940s and 1950s.
Bates was long active as a Public Address announcer at sporting events. His 30-year career began in 1985 announcing youth baseball, and expanded over the years to do amateur and pro baseball in the Nashua area, Nashua High football, baseball and hockey, New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association soccer, lacrosse and volleyball, and Daniel Webster College hockey. Though he retired from announcing in 2014, sort of, he could be heard at baseball, hockey and football for many years afterward.
Bob is survived by Sharon (Brown) Bates, his loving wife of 55 years. He also leaves a daughter, Robyn Descoteau and her husband Ronald of Hudson, NH, and a son, Donald Bates and his wife, Roxanne Dunn of Whately, MA. In addition, he will be remembered by seven grandchildren, Thomas and James Descoteau of Hudson, NH; Morgan, Madison, and Mackenzie Bates, Mason and Colin Jenkins of Whately, MA. Bob also leaves a sister, Shirley (Townsley) Scott and her husband, Joseph Giard of Buckland, MA, and several in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Due to current public health and safety concerns, a Celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family. Bob will be inurned at Plain Cemetery in Ashfield, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Home Health and Hospice Care in Merrimack, NH or Relay for Life.
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