May 23, 1941-Dec. 13, 2013
Bobby Lee Cates was born to Maurice Lee Cates and Dorothy Elaine (Harris) Cates (both deceased) on May 23, 1941 in Okmulgee, Okla. He had a brother, Jerry Lee Cates, (now departed) and a sister, Patricia Elaine Cates Stonebarger.
Bobby, now was saved, went to be with our Lord on Friday, December 13, at 10:50 p.m., in Oak Crossing, Detroit Lakes.
Bobby attended school in Muskogee, Okla., and was in the school band at Central High. He and three of his friends formed a rock-n-roll band called The Capris and even performed on the Dick Clark's Bandstand program in Philadelphia, Pa. The band cut two records. They were all drafted.
Bobby served in the Army and was honorably discharged on Feb. 2, 1961: He was called up from the Army inactive Reserve unit he was in. Not wanting to go back into the Army, he went to an Air Force recruiter, who swore him into the Air Force, where he remained until his honorable discharge in 1987.
Bobby married Jacqueline Suddarth and they had three children: Bryan Lee, Maurica Kay, and Patricia Elaine. Bobby and Jackie were divorced and Bobby then was a single parent to his two girls, as Bryan was in the Navy.
Bobby met Karen with the help of her daughter, Maureen and his two girls, who were friends and teammates on a Little League softball team. The girls were busy being matchmakers. Karen also has a son, Craig who was thrilled to have such an honorable father image in his life.
Bobby and Karen married in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 29, 1980, with all their extended families and all the kids except Bryan. Bobby picked the day as he said he was going to last longer in Karen's life than any other man, and he did!
Bobby was with the USAF's Judge Advocate Unit and had a distinguished career, performing such tasks as court recorder, air craft accident investigator and adjudicating claims for the Air Force.
Before retiring, Bobby achieved the rank he set his sights on, master sergeant. While retired from the service, Bobby worked for and represented his employer, a moving company in Tampa, Fla., and then established a company at home, which he called Resource Protection, in which he reclaimed funds from the very services he was aligned with while in the armed forces.
Surviving Bobby are his wife, Karen; their children Bryan, Maurica, Patty, Maureen and Craig; his sister, Pat Stonebarger; nine grandchildren; three great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; cousin Carol Luchtel; and many friends and co-workers.
Master Sergeant Bobby Lee Cates will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery (the Lord be with you, Sergeant Cates). No viewing is planned, and cards of condolence may be sent to the family at 119 5th St. NE, Frazee, MN 56544. No flowers, as Arlington does not allow them.