Robert Orland “Bob” Estes



All are invited to a Memorial Celebration of Bob’s life to be held in the Community Presbyterian Church, 11 NE Cole, Wilbur, Washington at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Graveside interment services for Bob will take place at a later date in the Waitsburg, Washington Cemetery.

Bob Orland “Bob” Estes was born in Starbuck, Wash., on March 21, 1927, the eighth and final child of Thomas Patrick and Goldie (Schoonover) Estes. On January 20, 2013, his loving wife Marie by his side, Bob, 85, left this world from Spokane, Washington’s Deaconess Medical Center.

A standout player on the Waitsburg High School Cardinals football team, Bob Estes was the only player up to that date to ever have scored a touchdown against their team’s arch-rival the Dayton High School Bulldogs. Though named salutatorian of Waitsburg High School’s 1945 graduating class, Bob did not attend graduation ceremonies, having joined the US Navy immediately upon completing his studies in April of 1945. Bob’s mother, Goldie accepted his diploma on Bob’s behalf.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Goldie was a “Five Star Mother” during World War II, as she simultaneously had five sons serving the United States Armed Forces. Bob’s older brother, US Army Capt. Norman Estes of the 405th infantry was killed in Roerdorf, Germany ,while keeping watch over his sleeping men and is buried in the American Cemetery in Margraten, Holland. During his basic training in California, Bob was able to go to the famous Hollywood Canteen where he saw such stars as Susan Hayward and Betty Grable. Bob served on the Battleship USS Iowa (BB-61) and was in Tokyo Harbor at the same time the peace treaty was signed there on board the Iowa’s sister ship “Missouri.” Following the war Bob served the duration of his military duty onboard the Baltimore-class heavy cruiser, USS Columbus (CA-74), receiving an honorable discharge in August of 1946. While in Los Angeles, Bob also witnessed Howard Hughes’ famous “Spruce Goose” being transported to the waters off Cabrillo Beach for its one and only flight.

Arriving home in Waitsburg after the war, Bob worked for several local farmers. In December, 1950 Bob married Iris White and together they raised three sons. He joined his brother Harvey in the banking industry at Waitsburg, moving on to Moses Lake and Grandview during his banking career. While in Grandview, Bob and Iris directed the youth group at their church. Bob coached youth “Grid Kids” football and the entire family was active in the Boy Scouts of America. Bob belonged to the Grandview Lions Club, serving for a time as club president. The family moved from Grandview to Waterville where Bob was bank manager.

Following his wife Iris’ death, Bob moved to Wilbur and worked as agricultural loan officer, eventually retiring after 30 plus years in the banking industry. After moving to Wilbur, Bob met and married Marie (Smeltzer) Green in May 1982. Together they enjoyed traveling whether on his 1976 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, by car or motor home. They wintered in Yuma, Ariz., and visited Mexico as well as many other destinations including Boston, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Death Valley, Canada, Germany, Hawaii (where they toured the Iowa’s sister ship the USS Missouri), and Holland – which included an emotional visit to the grave of Bob’s brother Norman.

In his profession as with his personal life, Bob’s heart was always to help others. He was always active within his community serving as treasurer for the Wilbur Lion’s Club, and an active member of the American Legion/VFW, Wilbur Chamber of Commerce, and the Spokane Valley Elks. In addition to his many community involvements Bob enjoyed being a Ham Radio operator and spending time boating and fishing. He was also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.

Preceded in death by his first wife Iris; grandson: Kevin Estes; step-son: Rod Green; his parents and siblings; Bob’s legacy lives on through his wife Marie Estes; children: Steve Estes, Dan Estes (Heidi) and Tim Estes (Kim); step-children: Ron Green and Debbie Akin (Tom); grandchildren: Michelle, Michael, Alicia, Shelleen, Ryan, Jeff, Brettney, Jared, Parker and Trevor; great grandchildren: Shane, Mikalah and Maci; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Bob’s family requests that any donations be made in his name to the Wilbur Ambulance Service, 10 NW Cole Street, Wilbur, WA, 99185, Phone: (509) 647-5531, or the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718

An on-line register book will be available at

Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee, is very honored to be serving Bob’s Family.


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