On Saturday, October 13, 2018, Gary Bates, loving husband and father, passed away at the age of 67. After a hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer, Gary died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family.
Gary was born on June 16, 1951 in Fall River, MA to John and Muriel (McKenna) Bates.
He was a 1969 graduate of De La Salle Academy in Newport, RI and went on to earn a business degree from Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI in 1973. Gary worked as a furniture manufacturer’s representative for 42 years. The last 20 years of his career he served as a sales representative for American Leather.
Gary was an avid golfer but his biggest passion in life was his family. His loving wife, Maggie, his daughters, grandchildren and large extended family, were the quintessential reason for his happiness and being. They were his greatest fortune.
Gary inspired all with his long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Diagnosed 17 years ago he continued to pursue his passions despite the challenges of his disease. His refusal to let the disease control and define him was a lesson to all. His strength and character that pushed him to fight each day and live in hope for a better day was inspiring. He taught us to not be ashamed of the challenges life has thrown our way, but to be so confident in who we are and what our life has become that we don’t use precious energy to hide it from the world. He did all this while fighting the battle of his life, literally.
Gary is survived by his devoted wife of 25 years, Margaret "Maggie" (Brown) Bates; his two loving daughters, Jennifer Whipple and her husband Nathan of Woburn and Katherine Kirovsky and her husband Sam of Jamaica Plain; two magical grandchildren, Cashton Paul and Fiona Ford Whipple of Woburn; his mother, Muriel Bates of Fall River; brother Steven Bates of Dartmouth; sister Karen Cournoyer and her husband Tom of Fall River; brother Jef Bates and his partner Bob Millar of Brooklyn, NY; sister Susan Boulay and her husband Kevin of Tiverton, RI; 22 nieces and nephews, many more loving in-laws, and a host of devoted friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his calling hours on Friday October 19th, from 4-8PM in the Charles F. Oteri and Son Franklin Funeral Home 33 Cottage Street, Franklin, MA. A Celebration of Life service will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in Gary’s memory to the New England Parkinson’s Ride, via https://fundraise.michaeljfox.org/nepr/GorgeousGary