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.

  1. Glenda Permenter Melvin says:

    Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this time.

  2. Joan (Wood) ward says:

    Linda, you and family are in my prayers. Was so sorry to hear about Don.
    May the Lord give comfort,grace and strength to you and your family.
    Our prayers are with you.
    Richard and Joan Ward

  3. Brenda Long says:

    Linda, I’m so sorry to hear about you and your Family’s loss. Donald was such a sweet man. I know God will get you all through this. May he Rest in God’s Peace.

  4. I’m very sorry to hear about Don’s passing. I worked with Don for several years at Monsanto. He was a very conscientious and responsible person. It was a joy to work with him. My condolences and prayers go out to Don’s family. May he rest in peace.

    Ron Bonifay
    Lawrenceville, GA

  5. Tina McCranie says:

    So sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man. One of my favorite Uncles and he will be missed greatly.
    Love, Tina Miller McCranie and Family in Texas.

  6. lianne cunningham passmore says:

    You and family are in oIur prayers. I have too much to share now so am sending a card.
    “Our parting is not the end of our relationship, only an interruption. With God there are no endings, only endless beginnings.”
    I know God will wrap you in His arms and provide all your needs. What great memories I have of Don. I praise God for them and all of you.

  7. Connie Cavnar says:

    Linda – You and your family are in my prayers at this time . So very sorry to hear the news. I have thought of you from time to time wondering about you since not working in preschool. I always enjoyed talking to you and remember catching a ride with you one Sunday morning. May the Lord comfort you is my prayer💕

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