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Ft. McCoy - Willis L. "Bill" Gates, 84, of Ft. McCoy-Salt Springs passed away Monday, May 5, 2014 at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala.
He was born in Butler, Pennsylvania and had been a resident of Ft. McCoy for the past 33 years coming from Miami. He worked for many years as an Executive Chef and was a longtime member of the American Culinary Federation. Chef Gates was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from Butler High School, Butler, Pennsylvania. He first started in the hotel kitchens at Buckhill Falls, Penna. After serving with the U.S. Marines for four years, he returned to finish his apprenticeship. Starting with the Equinox House in Manchester, Vermont. From there he came to Florida where he worked at Boca Raton Hotel and Club for the next five winter seasons. His summers were spent at the Mt. Washington Hotel under the supervision of Chef Edmond Johnson. From there he moved to Miami working in the Americana Hotel under Chefs Hugo Henecke and Marcel Paiel, later working at the Sea View Hotel for Chef Bettencourt (Red) (Shirley). From there be went to Lake Mohonk, NY where he was Sous Chef under Chef Richard Nickerson. Chef Gates is well known for his ice sculptures of beautiful Swans, Flamingos, and more. His first Chefs position was at the Cliff House in Situate, Mass. Later moving to the Conneaut Hotel, Conneaut, Penna. Lost Lake Lodge, Sayner, Wisc. From there he returned to Miami to assume his present duties as Executive Chef of the Lighthouse Restaurant. He is a member of the Epicurean Club of Greater Miami having served on the Board of Governors, and is served as Financial Secretary of the Club. He is in the Hall of Fame of Great Chefs at the St. Augustine Florida's American Culinary Federation. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of the VFW, post 10208 in Salt Springs and a member of the Ocala Moose Lodge 1014. He was a member of the Thorn Creek Methodist Church in Butler, PA.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jane Gates; and a son, John Zeh Gates.
Survivors include two daughters, Ann Davis (Wiley) and Barbara Priest (James Holbert), both of Ocala; his fiancee Judy Adams, two brothers, Rex W. Gates (Sally) and Gary L. Gates, bother of Butler, PA; two sisters, Glenna Franko (Frank) and Sondra Grossman, both of Butler, PA, his daughter-in-law, Linda Zeh; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
No services are scheduled at this time. A memorial service will be held at the VFW post 10208 in Salt Springs, Florida at 2PM Thursday, May 28, 2014. Messages of sympathy may be expressed in his online guest hook at: www.themastersfuneralhomes_com
Masters Funeral Home of Palatka is in charge of the arrangements.
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Masters Funeral Home
3015 Crill Avenue
Palatka, FL 32177-5398
(386) 325-4564
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Published in Ocala Star-Banner from May 25 to May 26, 2014
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