Iola Ann (Westberg) Cates

Iola Ann (Westberg) Cates passed away on 9 January 2013 after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease at the age of 78. A resident of Colorado Springs since 1972, she was born in Froid, Montana to Thure and Myrtle Westberg on 1 Sept 1934. She graduated from Froid High School where she was homecoming queen and valedictorian. Her speech to the graduating class was attended by the Governor of Montana. She received a full scholarship to Northern Montana College where she received a medical secretarial certificate. Following college, Iola moved to Spokane where she met an married her husband, Charles Cates, on 1 March 1958. Iola was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was the sole parent when her husband was deployed on remote tours in Alaska, Vietnam and Thailand. During these times she would load up the family for many days of skiing and for traveling to Montana in our beloved Volkswagen camper. She lived in many places after marriage: Madrid, Spain; Canal Winchester, Ohio; Biloxi, Mississippi; Spokane and Tacoma, Washington; twice in Colorado Springs; Fallon, Nevada; and Bischofsdron and Ramstein, Germany. She loved to travel, and with her family traveled throughout Europe. She and her husband traveled to all 50 states. In addition to being a loving wife and mother, Iola worked as a Medical Assistant, Spokane, Washington; a secretary for the Air Force in Spain; a Real Estate Agent in Colorado Springs; and retired from the Department of Corrections as a Senior Administrative Clerk/Contracts Administrator. She was very active as a Sacristan at St Luke's Lutheran Church and volunteered with Meals on Wheels until her Alzheimer's did not allow her to continue. She loved skiing, camping and traveling. Most of all she loved to run. Iola did many 5 and 10 K runs such as Sailing Shoes, Garden of the Gods and the Bolder Boulder was when she was 73. In celebration of her life, her family and friends plan to run in this year's Bolder Boulder. A memorial service will also be held that Memorial Day weekend. Iola is survived by her husband of 54 years, Lt Col (retired) USAF Charles Cates (Colorado Springs) and their four children: Dr. Grant Cates (PhD) and his wife, Alicia (Orlando, FL); Col (retired) USAF Leslie Blackham and her husband, Kevin (Monument, CO); Richard Cates (attorney-Manhattan Beach, CA); and Wendy Jones (physical therapist) and her husband, Jeff (Monument, CO); four grandchildren: Riley and Nathan Jones, and Charles and Atalanta Cates; her sister, Evelyn Hendrickson (Malta, MT) and brother, Jim and his wife, Carol (Green Valley, AZ and Sapphire Village, MT); and many nieces and nephews and cousins in the Bremerton, Bellingham and Spokane, Washington area and in the Malta and Bozeman, Montana area. Iola was preceded in death by her parents, Myrtle and Thure Westberg, and her brother, Victor Vaupel. Her family wants to thank the wonderful staff at the Sterling House and Pikes Peak Hospice for their excellent and compassionate care of Iola during her illness. In her memory, the family is requesting donations to the Colorado or Pikes Peak Hospice.

Published in The Gazette on Jan. 13, 2013