William C. "Bill" Gates Jr., 72, died Sunday after a courageous battle with cancer. His beloved wife, the former Gloria Jean Gramigna, preceded him in death on April 10, 2010. They were married Oct. 5, 1968.
Son of the late William and Pauline Minkel Gates, he was raised in Scranton and attended North Scranton and Central High School. He graduated from Penn State University
with a degree in business administration. After college, Bill enlisted in the Air Force and served in Vietnam, where he was exposed to the toxic Agent Orange. He and his wife lived in Frankfort, N.Y., Coconut Creek, Fla., and Pleasant Lake, Stratford, N.Y., during their 42-year union.
Bill was an energetic man and an excellent sales representative who had a varied work career. He worked first for Nestle Corp. and later Combined Life Insurance and the Federal Reserve Bank. In addition, he had several business ventures of his own. He was an avid sports fan who enjoyed watching and attending ball games with his wife, son, father, grandchildren and brothers-in-law. He loved his family and the many traditions they instituted like taking the Polar Express train every Christmas from Utica, and rooting for the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Tigers.
Surviving are a son, Billy and wife, Kathryn Gates, Athens, N.Y.; a daughter, Renee Gates, Newport; and his grandchildren, Emily Tracey Gates, Brandon Tyler Gates and Alexis Gloria Jean Ellsworth, who were the joys of his life; a sister, Florence Konosky, Carbondale; his mother-in-law, Bobbie Gramigna; five brothers-in-law, Victor, Marty and Ronnie, all of Scranton; Gary, Framingham, Mass.; and Frankie Allen, Morrisville, Vt.; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.
Bill and Gloria's many friends in both New York and Pennsylvania who visited him in his final days also survive him and will all miss him.
The family is grateful for the care rendered to Bill by the nurses and staff of Hospice & Palliative Care Inc., and the entire staff of Dr. Alicia M. DeTraglia's medical office.
Friends may call Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m., at the Eannace Funeral Home Inc., 932 South St., Utica, N.Y. Bill's funeral service and Celebration of Life will be Monday morning at 9 from the funeral home and at 10 at Historic Old St. John's Church officiated by the Rev. John Buehler.
Committal services with military honors will take place in Resurrection Chapel Mausoleum at Holy Trinity Cemetery with entombment to follow.
Flowers are accepted, but consider a memorial donation in William's honor to Hospice & Palliative Care Inc.; envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Online tributes: www.ean nacefuneralhome.com