Virgil Frank Gates

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Virgil Frank Gates
Virgil Frank Gates, 75, died Monday, March 9, 2015, surrounded by his family at his home in Wild Dunes, SC.
He is survived by his wife Judith Gates; son Bruce Allen Gates and his wife Joyce from Alexandria, VA; son Gary Frank Gates and his wife Laura from Georgetown, SC; grandchildren Barton Stuart Gates, Tyler Harrison Gates, Judson Taylor Gates, Henry Luke Gates, Madeleine Ambrose Gates, and Nathan Frank Gates; brothers Glenn Allen, Leroy James, and Larry Estelle Gates; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his siblings Nancy Lynn Young, and David Edwin, Charles Calvin, Ray Alvin, and Lynda Carol Gates.
Virgil was born in 1939, in Alba, MI, to Frank Harrison and Esther Arbella Gates and grew up in nearby Mancelona, MI. He graduated from Mancelona High School in 1957, and served honorably for four years in the U.S. Air Force. After completing a tool design and engineering certificate from Los Angeles Institute of Tool Design and Engineering, he started his career in Lansing, MI as a draftsman with Tranter Manufacturing. He moved his family to Aiken, SC, after designing machinery for a new Tranter plant in the area.
Upon retiring as chief engineer after nearly 39 years with Tranter, Virgil spent much of his time on his sailboat along the East coast. Known as a merciless card player, he enjoyed playing bridge with friends and family in the Isle of Palms area. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and a fully engaged grandfather.
The family would like to thank Kristin Zarcone and Piedmont Hospice for their care of and dedication to Virgil near the end of his life.
A celebration of Virgil's life is being planned for March 21, 2015, near Augusta, Georgia. For further information, please contact [email protected] The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Boulder Crest Retreat for Military & Veteran Wellness in Bluemont, Virginia (
Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on Mar. 15, 2015
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