PEORIA - Mary Louise Gates, 94, of Peoria, formerly of Venice, Fla., passed away Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at Proctor Endowment Home.
She was born May 9, 1918, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, the daughter of Charles N. and Edna May Samuelson Cornick. She married Robert P. Gates, her Beloit College sweetheart, on July 26, 1941, in Omaha, Neb. They were married nearly 69 years before his death in 2010.
She is survived by three children, Diane (Robert) Mugge of Loudon, Tenn., Linda (John) Sahn of Peoria Heights and Robert D. (Carol) Gates of Huntley, Ill. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, David (Lise) Mugge and Brenna and Cassia of Chatsworth, Ga., Ann (Dan) Cox and Grace, Molly and Ellie of Kennesaw, Ga., John (Brooke) Sahn of Alexandria, Va., Mark (Tracy) Sahn and Adam and Claire of Livermore, Calif., Mary (Joe) Evans of Ann Arbor, Mich., Laura (Ross) Cover of Chicago, Robert C. (Lisa) Gates of Peoria, Amy (Gines) Pedraza and Emma, Madie and Andres of San Diego, Calif., and Jonathan (Julie) Gates of Indianapolis, Ind.
Mary Lou loved and was loved by her family and friends. Her keen intellect, positive attitude, caring heart and generous spirit sustained her throughout life and allowed her to relate well to all generations. She was a gracious and enthusiastic partner to her husband in all their lifelong adventures and endeavors, including his 25-year tenure as pastor of Peoria's First Presbyterian Church.
A 47-year breast cancer survivor, she helped start Peoria's Reach to Recovery Program. She contributed to community organizations, especially meaningful to her was PEO.
She was an avid tennis player into her 80s.
Mary Lou and her husband quietly dispensed random acts of kindness and charity throughout their lives. In that spirit, the family suggests that any memorials be made to the
A memorial tribute for family and friends will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the First Federated Church Commons, 3601 N. Sheridan Road, Peoria, followed by a reception until 11:30 a.m. Services are private. Arrangements are by Davison-Fulton Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home.