August 27, 1925 – April 24, 2022
In Loving Memory ~
Bob/Dad/Grandpa/Papa passed away peacefully from natural causes on April 24, four months shy of his 97th birthday.
Robert Elmore Coates came into this world on August 27, 1925 and spent his formative years in Vancouver. He answered the call to serve during WWII and upon his return from the Navy, enrolled at UBC where his studies guided him towards a career in education. Marriage to Gwen, three children, and a life well lived on Vancouver Island followed in quick succession.
Commitment to service was a constant calling card of Bob’s many fine qualities. Raising his family in Qualicum Beach, Bob took every opportunity to support his community: as an Alderman, a Mason, a founding member of the curling club, the long-time Vice Principal of Qualicum Beach Secondary School, and as the coach or manager of numerous youth sports teams. Bob was always on board – no question!
But his legacy is so much more than his life of service. He was a gentleman with a kind, warm and inclusive nature, willing to listen, debate, laugh and comfort – always with a smile and often with a sly wink. His knowledge and guidance was the foundation of his family. Bob provided a level of optimism that was honest and heartfelt, and carried over into all that he did. He was the sort of person who drew people in and made many friends along the way.
Travel, gardening and fishing were his passions – at the age of 92 he landed a hefty 21lb spring salmon on a fishing retreat to Nootka Sound. His 50-year-old boat is still in the family and continues to ride the waves. Bob always managed to enthrall his audience, eager to hear his tales of the catch, but his true legacy is that of a listener; he had an acute understanding of every situation and made everyone feel like they belonged. Whether it was family, friends or former students, Bob always had time for an engaging chat.
He had an enlightened way of looking at the world and his core values of reason and compassion continue to inspire those who knew him as Bob/Dad/Grandpa/Papa…as well as the many who called him Vice Principal Coates.
Bob was predeceased by his wife Gwen in 2013 and is survived by his daughters Kerry (Rob) and Tracy (Larry) and son Brad (Barbara), as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sue Webber, the special friend who brightened his final years, joins the family in mourning his loss. A private family service will be held later this summer.
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