Donald Gates • April 28, 2020
Donald “Don” Ray Gates, 78, died Tuesday, April 28, 2020, from natural causes at West Florida Hospital in Pensacola.
Don was born June 7, 1941 in Pensacola. At the age of 13, he met his future wife, Linda Gates, and they stayed together for the rest of his life. After high school, he started work at Monsanto as a Research Technician. He was an excellent worker with a stellar reputation for getting the job done. He worked at Monsanto for over 20 years before being medically retired.
He was a lover and follower of all sports but especially basketball, golf, and the University of Florida. In 1959, while a senior at Tate High School, he set the season high in points scored. He continued playing basketball until he was 40.
At age 21, he played golf for the first time and soon became a scratch golfer. He played in some of the local tournaments and was able to place in the final rankings. Frequently, he could be found on the old Monsanto Golf Course, until he was unable to play golf due to injuries.
Don was a passionate Christ follower, and he was a member of Olive Baptist Church. He loved to talk to people about the Bible and God’s love. The first person he led to the Lord was his daughter-in-law, Sylvia, on her death bed.
Don was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He and Linda were married for almost 60, and during their time together they love traveling to the mountains, watching sports, and doing things with their children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and great-children.
He is survived by his wife – Linda Gates, son – Donald “Scott”Gates, grandchildren – Travis (Melinda) Gates and Leighanna (Gates) Brown, and 6 great-grandchildren. He was loved by his extended family including his sister-in-laws, brother-in-laws, nieces, and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his mother – Verna Mae (Kelly) Gates, father – Carl E. Gates, sister – Mary Edna (Gates) Hickox, brother – Joseph “Buddy” Gates, and son – Gregory“Greg” Gates.
Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the family will have a limited viewing (10 person limit at a time) will be held at Pensacola Memorial Gardens Funeral Home on Friday, May 8, 2020 from 10am until the Graveside service is held at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that contributions be made to the Preschool Department at Olive Baptist Church.
Pallbearers are Don Gates’ son and grandson: Scott Gates and Travis Gates. Honorary Pallbearers are the men of Don’s Sunday School Class.
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