KINGS MOUNTAIN-- Bobby Gene Oates, 69, of 1117 Mary's Grove Church Road, Kings Mountain, departed this life on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, at Wendover Hospice in Shelby. He was born in Cleveland County on Sept. 1, 1943, to James Elijah and Gertrude Gardner Barr, and was their second oldest child.
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Bobby was a 1961 graduate of Washington High School where he was a member of the boys basketball team. He furthered his education at Morristown College in Tennessee, earning an Associate's degree while there. Bobby began a career in law enforcement with the Shelby Police Force in 1965 as the fourth black police officer hired with the force. He worked his way up the ranks and eventually became a Captain before retiring from the force in 1999. He was a lifetime member of the North State Law Enforcement. His community involvement included being a founding board member of the Cleveland County Community Development Corporation and former memberships with the Elks Club and Masons.
Bobby was longtime member of Washington Missionary Baptist Church where he was a former chairman of the trustee board, former president of the usher board, member of the mass choir and formerly a member of the senior and male choirs. He found additional enjoyment in golfing, fishing, gardening and farming.
He was preceded in death by his father, James Elijah Oates.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 27 years, Tawanna S. Oates; his mother, Gertrude Barr of Southfield, Mich.; two sons, Carlos Oates (Chinetta) of Shelby, and Bradford Oates of Forest City; one brother, James Henry Oates (Eula) of Syracuse, N.Y.; three sisters, Carolyn H. Bullard (Darson) of Lincolnton, Linda Baldridge (Marvin) of Southfield, Mich., and Mary Perry of Charlotte; two grandchildren, Kierra Pitter (Adrian) of Valdosta, Ga. and Jordan Oates of Shelby; his mother-in-law, Pauline Webber of Kings Mountain; two sisters-in-law, Doris Kilgore (John) of Shelby and Cathy Howell (George) of Cherryville; god-daughter, Jada Goode of Kings Mountain; nieces and nephews, Tasha Watkins (Joel) of Mt. Holly, and their children Tierra and Justus, both of Greensboro, Shawn Harp (Chris) and their children Brianna and Kala of Mansfield, Texas, Eric Oates and Doris Daniels, both of Columbus, Ohio, Andre Oates of Fredericksburg, Va., Jamal Baldridge (Tamico) of Southfield, Mich. and their children, Jamal, Jr., Tonsha and Myra and Melissa Harp and son Bryce of Lincolnton; special cousin, Suzette Ross of Shelby; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Visitation: The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service of Thursday.
Funeral Service: 2 p.m. Thursday at Washington Missionary Baptist Church
Officiated By: Pastor Melvin L. Clark; eulogy by the Rev. Charles Webber
Burial: Church cemetery
Funeral Home: Enloe Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.
Online Condolences: www.enloes.net
Published in Shelby Star on Aug. 21, 2013