Theobault Avery “Theo” Bath, 94, of Kalamazoo, Mich., formerly of Danville, died Thursday evening, March 28, 2013, at the Butterfly Oasis, an assisted living group home in Kalamazoo, surrounded by his loving family.
Theo, son of Frederick and Mamie (Albers) Bath, was born Sept. 16, 1918, in Danville. He grew up on the Bath family farm on Denmark Road and attended the former historic Rose Hill Grade School.
Theo, who was also called “Ted” by his loving wife and many of his friends, was a foreman and machinist by trade and spent many years of his work life at Electric Eye. He was close personal friends of Sam Hurley, who owned the company, which later became Hurletron. Theo later worked at Tridan International, Inc., retiring in 1984.
He was known as a very hard-working man who could fix and repair anything — and enjoyed tending some of Danville’s finest lawns after retiring from his job. Theo was a member of Central Christian Church of Danville, Danville Elks Lodge 332, and was a charter member of Vermilion Hills Country Club when it opened in 1960.
He was formerly a 32nd Degree Mason and a Junior Achievement adviser through Hurletron. He was Danville Elk of the Year in 1984-1985.
Theo began a love for golf when during the Great Depression he helped to support his family as a young caddy at Danville Country Club. He won his first tournament as a youngster — and his winnings were a suit of clothes. Theo was a scratch golfer in his prime and played golf until he had bypass surgery at age 89. Even in his 70s and 80s he could still shoot his age. He won numerous golf titles and trophies, including Vermilion Hills Club Championship and the Danville Industrial League. He was a contender in numerous other golfing events and was in the foursome that won a state Elks tournament. He liked to play euchre, golf with his wife, and watch golf on television; his personal heroes were Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.
On Aug. 31, 1940, in Danville, Theo was united in marriage to the love of his life, Ruth J. Barnes, at Central Christian Church.
Surviving is his wife of 72-plus years, Ruth; his beloved daughter, Jeannie (William R. “Bill”) Brandenberger of Kalamazoo; his two loving grandsons, Jason Michael (Susan Nicole) Starr of Venice, Calif., and Aaron Thomas (Amy Elizabeth) Starr of Phoenix, Ariz. He is also survived by his sister, Julia Vehlewald of Danville; nephews, Fred (Ruth) Pancoast and Kevin (Pam) Vehlewald of Danville and William Cook of Texas. He is survived by brothers-in law, Charles Barnes and Earl (Sandra) Barnes of Phoenix, and their children, as well as several other great-nieces, great-nephews and in-laws.
Theo was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Larry T. Bath in April 1960; his sisters, Thelma Hartman and Mary Bath; and half-brothers, Earl and Hank Bath; and a niece, Melva Bryant.
The funeral service to celebrate Theo’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home, Richland Chapel, 9170 East D Ave., Richland, Mich., with the Rev. James D. Hill officiating. Friends will be received from noon until service time at the funeral home Monday. The committal service will be held at 2 p.m. CDT Tuesday, April 2, at Sunset Funeral Home, 3940 Vermilion St., Danville, with Hank Anderson, pastor of the Central Christian Church, officiating. Friends will be received from 1 p.m. until service time at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Theo’s honor may be directed to the Central Christian Church, 1101 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61832.
Personal messages for the family and/or favorite memories of Theo may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.