Ruth A. Gates
1926 - 2018
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Ruth A. Gates

Jan. 5, 1926 - March 7, 2018

SOUTH BEND - Ruth Gates, 92, of South Bend, passed away on March 7, 2018. She was born January 5, 1926, in Bicknell, Indiana, the youngest daughter of the late Bertalena (Marshall) and Louie Roberts. Ruth graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from Bethel College and a Master's Degree from Indiana University, South Bend. She began her teaching career with the South Bend Community School Corporation teaching 1st and 2nd grades at Lafayette Elementary School and McKinley Elementary School for 25 years. On March 11, 1945 she married William L. Gates, who preceded her in death on October 13, 1996. Ruth had two sisters who also preceded her in death, Dorothy Staker and Eleanor Niederhauser. She is survived by her son, L. William Gates (Sandy) of South Bend; her daughter, Melinda Gates (John Walker) of Indianapolis; and two grandchildren, Alexa and Graham Gates. In her later years, Ruth tremendously enjoyed her time, and the great people she met, as a docent for Copshaholm, the J.D. Oliver mansion, and working for the Center for History Museum.

The family will greet friends to celebrate Ruth's life from 2 until 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17 in the Welsheimer Family Funeral Home, 521 N. William St. A Memorial Service will follow at 4:00.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Ruth's name to the South Bend First United Methodist Church, 333 N. Main St., South Bend, IN 46601; Northern Indiana Center for History Museum Costume Restoration Fund, 808 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN 46601; or Bethel College, Institutional Advancement, 1001 Bethel Circle, Mishawaka, IN 46545. Family and friends may leave email condolences at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Mar. 11, 2018.
02:00 - 04:00 PM
Memorial service
04:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
October 30, 2018
I just learned of Ruth's passing and wanted to extend sympathies to the family. She was wonderful to me when I worked at the Center for History in South Bend. I have great memories of her smiling and laughing and enjoying the learning environment there. She was a blessing indeed.
Jan Shupert-Arick
March 16, 2018
In our thoughts and prayers. She was fun to be around. I will miss her.
Stacy Helderman
March 16, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Bernie Karczewski
March 16, 2018
Bernie Karczewski
March 15, 2018
We were so sorry to hear about your mom. Celebrate her life and find comfort in cherishing the wonderful memories. I know she will be greatly missed. Peace and love to you and your family. John & Mary Jo
Mary Jo Swartz
March 12, 2018
Bill and Melinda,

My deepest sympathy to both of you and your families with the loss of your mom. She was a great neighbor. Cherish all those great memories that you have with her in your heart.

Carolyn (Hauguel) Lidgard
March 11, 2018
Sandy and Bill I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm going to be out of town next weekend so I won't be able to go to the service. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Patti Smith
March 11, 2018
I am a former student of Mrs. Gates. She was my second grade teacher at Lafayette School. She was a wonderful teacher. Very kind and patient. She wanted all her students to learn and really cared about each student. My years at Lafayette were just incredible due to teachers like Mrs. Gates. With much sympathy to the family. You can surely be proud of your Mom!
Jan Gibbs (Wieczorek)
March 11, 2018
So sorry about the passing of your mother. You and your family have our deepest sympathies. Ruth will be remembered as a great teacher and friend - and always smiling!
Angela and John Felabom
March 11, 2018
When I joined the teaching staff at Lafayette Elementary Ruth Gates and Kathryn Jeffries were my mentors.
I will never forget their kindness and guidance . Ruth was quiet, confident, and a great coworker. She had a quiet wit, and was a great foil to her very funny husband, Bill.
She was proud of her family, and such a role model. Her involvement with her church and Oliver Mansion made her retirement so enjoyable!
Sandra Jennings
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