NEWTON… Mr. Willard V. “Chico” Gates, Jr., a resident of Newton, died Wednesday evening, January 6, 2021 in Flowers Hospital, Dothan. He was 83.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, January 9, 2021, in the Newton Baptist Church with Reverend Shane Traylor and Reverend Benji Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in Newton City Cemetery. Fuqua Bankston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:00 P.M. Saturday in the church sanctuary. COVID guidelines and social distancing will be observed during all scheduled times. The family appreciates everyone who will attend; however, they ask that you refrain from hugging and shaking hands due to COVID.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Children’s Haven of Morocco, c/o, The Master’s Mission, PO Box 547, Robinsville, NC 28771, Gideons International, Ozark Camp, PO Box 291, Ozark, AL 36361 or to Newton Baptist Church, PO Box 97, Newton, Alabama 36352.
Mr. Gates, son of the late Willard Vernon Gates, Sr. and Billie Lorene Long Gates, was a native of Alexandria, Virginia. He joined the United States Navy and was stationed in Pensacola, Florida where he received flight training and met his beloved wife. Mr. Gates lived in various locations while serving in the United States Navy. He was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and he also attended Washington Bible College. Mr. Gates returned to Alexandria, Virginia before becoming a Missionary teacher at The Children’s Haven for thirty-eight years. He moved to Newton in 2005 and was a member of the Newton Baptist Church, served as a deacon, Adult Sunday school teacher, and was an ordained Minister. Mr. Gates was preceded in death by two brothers-in-law: Reverend Jerry L. Glover and Ernie Render.
Surviving relatives include his wife of sixty years, Charlotte Price Gates, Newton; four daughters, Carol Becker (Roger), Bristow, VA, Karen Stortenbecker (Bob), Midland City, Kathy Sawyer (Kevin), Abaco, Bahamas, and Nancy Rotthoff (Richard), Greenville, NC; a son, John Gates (Leigh Ann), Warner Robbins, GA; two brothers, Doug L. Gates (Ginger), Trinity, FL and Cliff Gates (Susan), Alexandria, VA; fifteen grandchildren, Nicole, Makayla, Bryce, Jon, Bobby, Kristi, Karis, Zach, David, Josh, Aaron, Taylor, Christopher, Caleb, and Brendan; two sisters-in-law, Judy Glover, Newton and Patricia Render, Ozark; brother-in-law, Phil Price (Martha), Byron, GA; his Haven family; several nieces and nephews.
Grandsons will serve as active pallbearers.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff of SICU, 4th Floor at Flowers Hospital for their exceptional care to Mr. Gates during his illness.
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