Robert Gaites Obituary

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In Memory of

Robert J. Gaites

Obituary

Robert J. Gaites, 70, of Todt Hill, a retired construction executive who is remembered for his singular moral compass, commitment to his community and his ready wit, died yesterday at home. Born and raised in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Mr. Gaites moved to Staten Island in 1970. He lived in several Island communities before settling in Todt Hill 10 years ago. In 1975, shortly after receiving his bachelor's degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Mr. Gaites struck out on his own as one of the founding principals of the Strober Organization. His new building supply company, Strober Brothers, was based in Brooklyn and grew...
Robert J. Gaites, 70, of Todt Hill, a retired construction executive who is remembered for his singular moral compass, commitment to his community and his ready wit, died yesterday at home.

Born and raised in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Mr. Gaites moved to Staten Island in 1970. He lived in several Island communities before settling in Todt Hill 10 years ago.

In 1975, shortly after receiving his bachelor's degree from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, Mr. Gaites struck out on his own as one of the founding principals of the Strober Organization. His new building supply company, Strober Brothers, was based in Brooklyn and grew quickly, going public in 1991.

The company went private again in 1997, when it was renamed ProBuild. Today ProBuild, which sells construction materials to professional contractors, employs 10,000 people at 450 locations nationwide and is the largest building supply company of its kind in the country. Mr. Gaites retired from ProBuild in January 2008.

He used his business acumen while serving on the boards of Carmel Richmond Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, the Staten Island Mental Health Society, and Project Hospitality. In 2009, Project Hospitality recognized Mr. Gaites and his wife, Carolyn, with the Sophie Matthews Memorial Award for Volunteer Service.

He was a former board member of Staten Island University Hospital and a former trustee of Our Lady Star of the Sea R.C. Church, Huguenot.

Mr. Gaites loved to hit the links at the Richmond County Country Club in Dongan Hills, where he was also a member, and he was often known for the pithy, witty sayings he dispensed to friends and family.

"Everybody remembers his 'Bobisms.' It meant a lot to people that he had these ready-made sayings for them,'" recalled his wife, the former Carolyn Campbell.

And Mr. Gaites lived by his words.

"He had a very, very strong moral compass, a very strong sense of right and wrong," his wife said.

Surviving, in addition to Carolyn, his wife of 42 years, are his son, Robert C.; his brother, Jack; his sister, Elizabeth McGlyn, and two grandchildren.

The funeral will be Monday from the Casey Funeral Home, Castleton Corners, with a mass at 9:45 a.m. in St. Clare's R.C. Church, Great Kills. Burial will follow in Resurrection Cemetery, Pleasant Plains.

Arrangements under the direction of Casey Funeral Home, Staten Island, NY.

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Staten Island Advance
GAITES Robert J. Gaites of Todt Hill on October 21, 2011. Beloved husband of Carolyn (nee Campbell). Loving father of Robert C. Gaites. Dear...

Read obituary at Staten Island Advance.

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