Wilbert Warren "Bill" Gates, 82, of Grafton, died Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, following a two-year illness.
He was born Oct. 5, 1930, in Wellington to Van and Edith (nee Millis) Gates.
Bill graduated from Wellington High School in 1949.
He later joined the U.S. Army, where he served as a tank commander during the Korean Conflict.
Bill held many jobs throughout his life, including manager of Lawson Milk Stores in Elyria, charter bus driver for SBS, pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, auxiliary police officer for the city of Elyria, farmer, and a delivery driver for MAC Automotive in Oberlin. He and his late wife, Louise, delivered the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram for many years.
Bill was a life member of American Legion Post 12 in Elyria, and served as treasurer at Grafton Baptist Church, where he was also a member.
He enjoyed building model planes, bowling, and beekeeping.
He is survived by his children, David Gates (Carol) of Taunton, Mass., Diana Jackson-Charlino (Dan) of Charlestown, W.Va., and Peggy Gates of Summersville, S.C.; step-children Jimmy Hall Sr. (Elaine) of West Salem, Robert Hall of Cincinnati, Iowa, Steve Hall (Debbie) of Sullivan, and Kathryn Pruchinsky (Jay) and Deborah Baker (Dan), both of Lorain; nephew, Jerry Gates Sr. (Cindy) of Grafton; 24 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and one great-great-great-grandchild.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Louise Pritchard-Hall, whom he married July 1, 1979; brothers Melvin Gates and Robert Charters; sister, Wilma Burnham; stepson, Wade Hall; and step-granddaughter, Lanette Hall.
Services were held Monday, Feb. 18 at Busch Funeral Home, Elyria, with the Rev. Robert Smalley officiating.
Interment with full military honors will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Grafton Baptist Church, 12981 Grafton Rd., Grafton, OH 44044; or Gideons, Elyria Camp, P.O. Box 324, Elyria, OH 44036.
Published in The Wellington Enterprise on Feb. 21, 2013