Bob Applegate

Return to Class of 1965

10/19/2023Bob Applegate
Robert Bate Applegate of Milan, IL passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 19, 2023, in Brainerd, Minnesota. Cremation rights were accorded.

Bob was born to Murray Bate and Alice Avery Applegate on July 24, 1947, and joined older brother, Arthur, in their Knoxville, Iowa home.

Among many achievements and memberships, Bob was an Eagle Scout and member of the Order of the Arrow, a graduate of Knoxville Senior High School, a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, a graduate of Iowa State University, a retired Rock Island Arsenal U.S. Army Civilian Human Resources Officer, a former Rock Island City Councilman, a former Trustee of Rock Island First United Methodist Church, and current owner of The Book Rack of the QC.

Bob was married to his loving wife and adventure partner, Claudia, his high school sweetheart with whom he successfully reconnected after a few years apart.

Picking up right where they left off, they married fewer than four months after reuniting, ultimately spending the next fifty years, five months, thirteen days, eight hours, and 3 minutes together (Bob’s often on-the-spot calculation – his favorite party trick).

Together they built a loving home in which they raised two children and supported one another through long and successful civilian government careers in the Rock Island Arsenal, and enjoyed many years of retirement spending time together, traveling the world, making frequent trips to their beloved family cabin, spending time with their children and five grandchildren, and enjoying both their separate and mutual passions.

Ever the entrepreneur, Bob sometimes owned other businesses in addition to his full-time employment, including rental homes and a car wash.

For the last 15 years, Bob was the owner of The Book Rack of the Quad Cities. On most days during his “retirement”, Bob would be busy working on The Book Rack, venturing to the latest garage/attic/storage unit sale to buy more inventory, at the store restocking supplies and working with his staff, or working in his home office on the next experiment to drive sales.

Bob loved spending time with his children and grandchildren and was a very proud and supportive father and grandfather. Alan spent many hours discussing business matters and
investment strategies with his Dad (which Bob loved), and almost as many hours trouble-shooting his Dad’s computer and streaming services.

Bob loved playing every sport (most commonly basketball, softball, and golf) with Lara, including more than a few three-point, free throw, and closest-to-the-pin competitions complete with trash talk and wagers.

Bob ApplegateKnown to his grandchildren as Papa and Grandpa, Bob would drop everything to accommodate a grandchild’s request. He was 100% present for a bear hug, a walk to the playground or around the pond, making funny faces, sitting on the floor to build with blocks, or playing Pretty Pretty Princess. Alan and Allie enjoyed many morning breakfast dates, chatting and enjoying Papa’s company; Grandpa’s perfect touch calmed Mikey through a tour of the plantings in his yard; while Sydney, Gabby, and Paige were all captains in training, often sharing Grandpa’s lap to steer the pontoon on Gull Lake.

He was the biggest fan of each of us and was always eager to listen and help however he could.

Those left to honor Bob’s memory include his wife, Claudia; son, Alan (Nicole) Applegate; daughter, Lara (Kevin) Koza; five grandchildren (Allison, Sydney, Gabriella, Paige, and Michael Robert); brother, Arthur (Kathleen) Applegate; and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Riverfront Grille in Rock Island.

Visitation is at 2:00 p.m. with service at 3:00 p.m. A social time to share memories, laughs, and perhaps one of Bob’s signature drinks (Diet Pepsi, 7 and 7, Sauvignon Blanc) will follow.

Instead of flowers, please consider donations to Two Rivers United Methodist Church and/or the American Heart Association – and read books.