Thomas Gates passed away peacefully in his sleep at the Mount Royal Care Centre on Monday, February 24, 2020, at the age of 83 years. He will be dearly missed by his four children, Carol Gilson (Dan) of Calgary, Gordon Gates (Marcus Soper) of Spokane, WA, Nathan Gates of Calgary, and Greg Gates (Rebecca) of Calgary; five grandchildren; and three siblings, Carolyn Dame of Queen Creek, AZ, Glen Goetz (Donna) of Glenwood, AB, and Kim Nadeau of Williams Lake, BC. He is predeceased by his wife, Eileen, since 2013, and his parents, Peter and Moralda Goetz.
Tom was born in Lethbridge and grew up in Glenwood. As a boy, he learned the value of hard work, invention, and fortitude, as well as his love for nature, running trap lines, working as a farmhand, and taking other odd jobs that he could find. He was always interested in how things worked, taking things apart and putting them back together. After serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa in the late 50’s, Tom attended the University of Alberta, Calgary Campus where he obtained his teaching degree. He taught Grades 5 & 6-Math, Science and Physical Education in Calgary and briefly in Kamloops. Tom met Eileen while working on his teacher credentials. They were married for 52 years at the time of her passing. As a young couple and as their children grew, Tom and Eileen enjoyed camping, dancing, and hosting card games with friends and family. Weekend trips fishing, skidooing, hiking, boating, and hunting became holiday activities. Tom had an entrepreneurial spirit and he eventually left teaching to pursue his businesses. Tom’s interest in music and design led him to build audiophile speakers and install commercial sound systems. He also ran a DJ business and fabricated home security products. Tom was friendly with everyone and shared generously. The onset of dementia did not change his enjoyment of visiting and getting to know people. He will be missed by all those who knew him.
A funeral service for Thomas will take place at Pierson’s Funeral Service (4121 – 17 Avenue SE, Calgary) on Thursday, March 5, at 7:00 pm. Visitation will begin at 6 pm. Graveside services will take place on Friday, March 6, at Glenwood Cemetery in Glenwood, AB at 1:00 pm.