Willis Robert Deaton, Sr. "Bob" Profile Photo
1937 Bob Deaton, Sr. 2024

Willis Robert Deaton, Sr. "Bob"

June 24, 1937 — March 30, 2024


Bob Deaton, Sr., of Denver, NC, formerly of Cornelius, NC, for 53 years, passed away on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at the age of 86.  He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Phyllis Belk Deaton, and two children, Bob Deaton, Jr., and Dr. Lysa Deaton-Smith.

Mr. Deaton was born June 24, 1937 to Willis Alexander Deaton and Avis Wilhelm Deaton in Mooresville, NC.  He was a Cornelius native and graduated from North Mecklenburg High School in 1955.  He graduated from NC State College in the 1959 Civil Engineering Class.  While there, he was his Senior Class Treasurer, in the Blue Key Honor Fraternity, and President of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.  Upon graduation, he went to work at the City of Charlotte Traffic Engineering Dept. as a Traffic Engineer.  He graduated from Yale University Bureau of Highway Traffic Graduate School in New Haven, CT in 1961.  In 1982, he became Director of the Transportation Department of Charlotte.

Mr. Deaton served as President of the N.C. Division of the Southern Section of International Transportation Engineers, as well as President and a Director on the Board of the International Engineers.  He opened the first Kimley-Horn Engineering Consulting Firm Office in Charlotte in 1985.  In 1990, he opened Deaton-Hasty Engineering, Inc., which he ran until retiring in 2000.  During these years, he introduced California developers too and developed the infrastructure for Highland Creek residential/golf community.  His firm also developed the Stratford Forest residential community in Cornelius, NC.

Mr. Deaton was a co-founder of Lake Norman Power Squadron in July of 1977.  In addition, he was a co-founder of Loch Norman Highland Games in Huntersville, NC in 1993, where he served as President and Board Chairman.  In 2000, he opened the first Republican Campaign Office in the North Mecklenburg area, specifically Cornelius.  He was also responsible for Mecklenburg County's Revised Property Re-evaluations in 2014.

As a Lifetime Member of Mt. Zion UMC in Cornelius, he served as a Chairman of Trustees and on the Administrative Board.  He headed up the Annual BBQ for several years, and was a member of the Don Bridger Sunday School Class.  

Mr. Deaton is survived by his wife, Phyllis; son, Willis Robert Deaton, Jr. & wife, Karen of Liberty Hill, SC. and daughter, Dr. Lysa Deaton-Smith of Claremont, NC; step-grandsons, William Pollard (Sarah) and Barnes Pollard (Amanda); step-great grandchildren, Evelyn, Wells, and Lucy; sister, Nancy Deaton Winfree of Little Mountain, SC; brothers & sisters-in-law, B.V. & Harriet Belk, Gary & Diane Belk of Charlotte NC; 6 nephews and 6 nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, daughter-in-law Patricia A. Deaton, & son-in-law Newton Alexander (Alex) Smith III.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Mr. Deaton on Saturday, April 6, 2024, 12:30pm, at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, Cornelius. The family will receive friends from 11:30am - 12:30pm prior in the Sanctuary of the Church. Burial will be held privately by the family. 

Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Deaton's memory to Mt. Zion United Methodist Church or the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.KepnerFH.com
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 6, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 6, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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