Wilbert Warren “Bill” Gates, 82, of Grafton, passed away Thursday, February 14, 2013, following a two year illness. He was born in Wellington, October 5, 1930, to the late Van and Edith (nee Millis) Gates.
Bill graduated from Wellington High in 1949. He later joined the U.S. Army, where he served as a Tank Commander during the Korean Conflict. Bill held many jobs throughout his life, including manager of Lawson Milk Stores in Elyria, charter bus driver for SBS, pilot for Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary Policeman for the City of Elyria, farmer, and a delivery driver for MAC Automotive in Oberlin. He and his late wife, Louise, delivered the Elyria Chronicle Telegram for many years.
Bill was a life member of American Legion Post #12 in Elyria, and served as the Treasurer of Grafton Baptist Church, where he was also a member. He enjoyed building model planes, bowling, and beekeeping.
He is survived by children, David Gates (Carol) of Taunton, Massachusetts, Diana Jackson-Charlino (Dan) of Charlestown, West Virginia, and Peggy Gates of Summersville, South Carolina; stepchildren, Jimmy Hall, Sr. (Elaine) of West Salem, Robert Hall of Cincinnati, Iowa, Steve Hall (Debbie) of Sullivan, and Kathryn Pruchinsky (Jay) and Deborah Baker (Dan), both of Lorain; nephew, Jerry Gates Sr. (Cindy) of Grafton; 24 grandchildren; 24 great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren; and one great great great grandchild.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Pritchard-Hall, whom he married July 1, 1979; brothers, Melvin Gates and Robert Charters; sister, Wilma Burnham; stepson, Wade Hall; and stepgranddaughter, Lanette Hall.
Friends may call Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the Busch Funeral Home, 114 Second St, Elyria, from 4 until 8 P.M. Funeral Service will be at the funeral home Monday, February 18, 2013, at 10:30 A.M., with Reverend Robert Smalley officiating. Interment, with full Military Honors, will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Grafton Baptist Church, 12981 Grafton Road, Grafton, OH 44044 or Gideon’s, Elyria Camp, P.O. Box 324, Elyria, OH 44036. www.buschfuneral.com