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Winfield Gates Sr.

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Winfield Gates Sr. Obituary
Winfield Pearl Gates Sr.

1919 - 2015 BENNINGTON Winfield Pearl Gates Sr., a resident of Morgan Street, passed away on April 11, at his home. Winfield was born in Bennington on June 14, 1919. He was the second son of Pearl Watson Gates and Julia Olin Gates Winfield Sr. attended local schools and worked his very first job at the East End Market on Main St in Bennington. On Oct. 13, 1940 he joined Company I from Bennington and was inducted into federal service on Feb. 27, 1942. He served in Company I until Nov. 5, 1945. During World War II, Winfield was on the SS President Coolidge troopship, when it hit United States mines in Espiritu in the New Hebrides and sank. He served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He fought nine months in the Philippine Islands, New Guinea, New Georgia, Guam and the Guadalcanal just to name a few. He was the last man from Company I to come home from the war and was discharged on Nov. 5,1945. After serving in World War II, Winfield was awarded many medals for his service which included Company Combat Metal, Infantry Badge, Efficiency Honor Fidelity Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Bronze Star. He was given the Bronze Medal as a Staff Sargent for meritorious achievement in ground combat against the armed enemy during World War II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operations. After World War II, Winfield Sr. worked at General Electric (GE) in Pittsfield Mass. for 8 months. He then left GE and went to work at Benmont Paper Mill for 13 years. He also worked for William E. Campbell as a driver and then as a salesmen for 11 years. He worked another 26 years at the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal until his retirement. Winfield Sr. was a Member of the Putnam Hose Company, Bennington Fire Department for 27 years. He is the last original organizer of the Moose Lodge in Bennington and was a life time member of the VFW, Elks, and Moose Club for over 60 years. In 1964, he built a camp in Wilmington Vt. and has been a member of the Southern Vt. Boating Club for over 50 years. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, and many card games with family and friends at his camp over the years. His camp was his pride and joy. Winfield Gates Sr. was predeceased by his first wife, Nellie Stratton Gates, whom he married in August of 1950. She died in a car accident on December 16, 1960. He had a stepson, Theodore (Teddy) Becker; two daughters, Mona Gauthier of Bennington, and Susan Lafountain of Woodford; two sons, Winfield Gates Jr. of Somerset, and Lawrence Gates Sr. of Bennington. Mr. Gates was also predeceased by his second wife, Isabelle Cutler Gates, whom he married in August, 1963 and was married to until her death on March 5, 2002. Mr. Gates also had a step-daughter, the late Pauline West of Bennington; and another stepson, Mike Mazinski of Spokane Valley Washington. Winfield also had a longtime family friend, Fred Golden, who spent time with him at camp and at home. Mr. Gates was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 94 and was cared for by his two daughters on a daily basis, Mona Gauthier, and Susan Lafountain, and by their husbands, Leo Gauthier Jr., and Paul Lafountain. His grandson, Jeremey Gates, lived with Winfield for many years and later another grandson, Shawn Lafountain. In the last few weeks of his life his granddaughter, Nicole Lafountain Bump, also helped with his care. Mr. Gates is survived by 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a great-granddaughter, Nellie May Lafountain; an older brother, John Gates who died during infancy; and by two sisters, Ruby Bent, and Eleta Schnurr of Bennington. He also had a brother, Lawrence (Buddy) Gates, who died in 1945 on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, during World War II. He lived a full life and will be missed dearly by his family and friends. He was 95 years old. He would have been 96 years old this June. FUNERAL NOTICE: Memorial services celebrating the life of Winfield Gates Sr. will be held from the MAHAR SON FUNERAL HOME on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 11 a.m. Friends may call at the funeral home Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Burial will take place in the family lot in White Chapel Cemetery. Should friends desire memorial contributions in Mr. Gates memory may be made to either BAYADA Hospice or the Bennington Rescue Squad through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net.


Published in Bennington Banner on Apr. 13, 2015
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