Obituary: Robert H. (Bob) Gates

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BOSSIER CITY – Services for Robert H. (Bob) Gates will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at Rose-Neath Bossier Chapel. Interment will follow in Rose-Neath Cemetery. Officiating will be Rev. Brad Franklin and Rev. Cheryl Nelson of Benton United Methodist Church. Visitation will be 12:30 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.

Bob died at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 25, 2017, peacefully holding the hand of his loving wife, Dorothy Corry (Dot) Gates, celebrating their anniversary of 64 years of marriage.

Bob was born March 1, 1930 in Bastrop, Louisiana to Holmes Willis Gates and Mary Ruth Williams Gates. He was raised in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, graduating from Oak Hill High School where his father was the Principal and his mother was a Teacher. He attended Northwestern State University, where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Corry (Dot) Gates. Bob graduated in 1950, with honors, receiving his Bachelor of Science in Biology. He married his college sweetheart and was with her until his last breath.

Upon graduation from college, Bob entered the nation’s service as an Airman, rising from enlisted ranks through Officer Candidate School to receive his commission as an Officer, serving five years active duty and five years reserve. First Lt. Gates served his Nation with distinction in duty posts from Texas, Florida, Maryland and Alaska.

Upon returning to civilian life with a growing family, Bob entered corporate life. He served as a Pharmaceutical Representative with Ciba-Geigy (Novartis) Corporation, and with his wife Dot, raised their four sons in Benton, Louisiana.

Bob devoted great attention, time, and love to wife and family. He was a thoughtful man who loved to read deeply and widely, and encouraged education in his family and others, serving on the Bossier Parish Library Board. He and his wife, Dot, have been faithful members of the Benton United Methodist Church for over half a century.

Bob enjoyed tennis, golf, hunting and fishing, but his greatest passion was reading and studying, and devoting his time and energy towards serving the needs of his family.

Bob was preceded in death by his oldest son, Robert Dan Gates; brother, Reginald Gates of Baton Rouge, LA; sister, Martha Richardson of Houston, TX; and parents, Holmes Willis Gates and Mary Ruth Williams Gates of Alexandria, LA. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Corry Gates of Bossier City, LA; son, John Benjamin Gates of Shreveport, LA; son, James Steven Gates and wife, Cynthia of Opelousas, LA; and son, Joseph William Gates and wife, Kaylon of Bossier City, LA. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Rachel Gates Hebert (Kenneth) of Lafayette, Mollie Gates Middleditch (Thomas) of Los Angeles, CA; Samuel Gates, Margaret Gates, and Asa Gates of Bossier City, LA; and three great-grandsons, Kenneth Paul Hebert, Jr., William Gates Hebert, and John David Hebert of Lafayette, LA, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Honoring Bob as pallbearers will be Samuel Gates, Kenneth Hebert, Ed Shanklin, Larry Shanklin, David Richardson and Randy Santiago.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to Benton United Methodist Church Building Fund.