Robert Mapes Obituary

Robert G. Mapes
Robert G. Mapes

July 11, 1942 - November 4, 2018
Born in Madison County, IA
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Robert G. Mapes. 76, died at home on Sunday, November 4, 2018. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, November 8 at Iles Grandview Park Funeral Home. Services will be 1 p.m. Friday, November 9 at the funeral home. He will be laid to rest at Laurel Hill Cemetery.

Bob was born July 11, 1942 to George Russell and Daisy E. (Harrison) Mapes in Madison County, Iowa. He attended elementary school at New Virginia until he was nine years old, then the family moved to Coolidge, Arizona because of his dad’s health. He played tuba, trumpet and French horn in marching band, concert band and dance band. While in high school, he graduated in the top ten percent of his class. He attended the University of Arizona majoring in engineering. After his father’s death in December 1962, he returned to Iowa with his mother and sister.

Shortly before his father’s death, Bob’s father told him to go back to Iowa and marry a corn-fed, Iowa girl. Shortly before he proposed on July 11, 1963, he told bride-to-be, Helen Mae Brazelton, what his dad had told him. He married Helen at Union Park Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) February 15, 1964 in Des Moines. He served on the Church Board, was Superintendent of the Children’s Sunday School, sang in the choir and provided special music during the summer.

Bob worked in the power transmission field doing sales, trouble shooting and customer service for many years working for Standard Bearings, Precision Bearings and retiring from Tompkins Industries.

He was a Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 53 for about 10 years at Union Park Presbyterian Church and was active in the Order of the Arrow as well as working with the OA dance team. In 1981 and 1987 he was on staff at the National Boy Scout Jamboree. His troop raised funds to help the boys pay for the Jamboree fee by picking up tree seeds to sell to the State nursery, cleaning cages at a cat show and selling Christmas greens. When the DNR started the Hunter Safety Program he and Mr. Thode taught in the Polk County area for several years. He usually taught Wilderness Survival. In May of 1992 he received an award for his volunteer work from the Governor of Iowa.

Genealogy always interested Bob. He and Helen were charter members of the Iowa Genealogy Society for several years. Many hours were spent going through courthouse documents, old newspapers and walking cemeteries collecting information. On the Mapes line he was able to go back many generations. He did research for people from California to Canada including a large project for the University of Minnesota.

He was a Life-Time member of the NRA, a member of Central Iowa Orchid Society (CIOS), and Mid-Iowa Cactus and Succulent Society (MICSS) of which he was a board member. Besides horticulture, freelance photography was a hobby he enjoyed very much. He did several wedding pictures, but he felt it was a lot of work for a hobbiest. His favorite was taking pictures of the grandchildren when they were playing Little League, especially getting a shot of Austin’s first “out of the field” home run. Son, Mike, coached girls’ softball. Bob would take pictures while the girls played, post them on a website, then Mike used them to work with the girls on their skills. After he retired, daughter, Sarah, talked him into going to DMACC. He took two years of horticulture, photo shop and web design.

Survivors include Bob’s wife, Helen M. Mapes; three children, Bryan Mapes, Michael (Heather) Mapes and Sarah E. Mapes all from Des Moines’ Eastside; grandchildren, Mackenzie M. Mapes (fiancé’, Ray Quiroz), Austin M. Mapes, Shaye Mapes and Piper Mapes also of Des Moines’ Eastside; his sister, Martha Porter of State Center; sister-in-law, Ina Mapes of Arizona, five nephews and six nieces; many great nieces and nephews; great-great nieces and nephews; many cousins and friends near and far.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Russell Lee Mapes and his wife, Viola of Slater; brother, Carl E. Mapes, Sr. of Arizona; and brother-in-law, David J. Porter of State Center..

Memorial contributions may be directed to Union Park Presbyterian Church or the Animal Rescue League.





Grandview Park Funeral Home
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317
Thursday, November 8, 2018
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Grandview Park Funeral Home
3211 Hubbell Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317
Friday, November 9, 2018
1:00 PM
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3601 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50317
Friday, November 9, 2018
2:00 PM


Union Park Presbyterian Church
1307 Thompson Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50316
Animal Rescue League Of Iowa
5452 NE 22nd Street
Des Moines, IA 50313