Gates, Philip Brackett of Westwood, died August 23, 2011. He was in his 94th year. Mr. Gates was the husband of 53 years to the late Beryl Cosgrove Gates. He is survived by his son, Peter Gates and his wife Deborah of Weston, his grandson, Samuel Gates of Somerville, and his granddaughter, Caroline Slocum and her husband Jason of Boston. He was predeceased by his mother and father, Ellis L. and Louella Brackett Gates, his brother, Buster and his sister, Barbara. Born in Waban, MA, Mr. Gates attended Newton schools and graduated with an A.B. in English Literature and Philosophy from Bowdoin College in 1940. Until recently, he served as Class Agent for the Class of 1940. He attended graduate school at Harvard University before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1941. He later served in the Army Air Corps and, from 1942 to 1945, as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, commanding a fully commissioned ship and participating in combat landings in New Guinea, the Philippine Islands, and the Dutch East Indies. In 1950, he married his wife Beryl and moved to Westwood. He worked in real estate management and valuation for almost 40 years, and especially enjoyed taking on unusual valuation assignments such as golf courses, churches, shipyards, islands in Boston Harbor, and Fenway Park. He served for almost 20 years as an elected Assessor for the town of Westwood and did similar work for the towns of Needham and Wellesley. He served as Director of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board; National Director of the Society of Industrial Realtors; President of the Greater Boston Chapter, and Governor of the New England Region, of the American Society of Appraisers. He pursued a lifetime of learning. His encyclopedic memory and intellectual curiosity guided him in the study of seventeenth-century English literature, classical philosophers, the works of Sir Isaac Newton, the history of Pacific maritime exploration, and almost any other subject that crossed his desk. He was a scholar of the life and writings of Capt. James Cook and the founder of the Dampier Society. He always asserted that Burtons Anatomy of Melancholy is the greatest book ever written in the English language. After retirement, he achieved his career goal of becoming a teacher at both the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement and the Lifetime Learning Program in Wellesley, where he peer-taught courses on philosophy, religion, the Enlightenment, and the history of science. Funeral services were on Tuesday, August 30, 2011. Memorial contributions, in memory of Philip Brackett Gates, to Bowdoin College, 5000 College Station, Brunswick ME 04011.
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Published in The Needham Times from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3, 2011