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Leo E. Gates, age 88, of Greenville, passed away early Saturday morning, October 25, 2014 at his home under the loving care of his family and Spectrum Health Hospice. The son of George M. & Elsie (Stearns) Gates, he was born on October 7, 1926 in Greenville.

On Aug. 12, 1950, in Greenville, he married Doris M. Smith and together they raised four children and enjoyed almost 56 years of marriage until Doris passed away on May 20, 2006. He was also preceded in death by a sister, Retha Mahler; and a great grandson, Ethyn Noto.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Leo returned home and for many years he worked as a miller at the old Farm Bureau Grain Elevator and retired from Petroleum Suppliers. In the past he enjoyed fishing and small game hunting, and in more recent years he spoiled his canine companions, Tinker and Toby. Along with his dogs and his special friend, Patricia Fuller, and her dog Fred, they enjoyed many walks together. Leo was also a lunchtime regular at the Greenville West McDonald’s where he had many friends.

Surviving are his children, Brenda & Douglas Kargel of Hale, Nancy & David Tompsett, Roger & Tami Gates, all of Greenville, and Julie & Marty Lonn of Thompsonville; fifteen grandchildren, Tammy Youmans, John Larsen, Jason Larsen, Michael Tompsett, Traci Tompsett, Charles Gates, Benjamin Gates, Lisa Borden, Zachary Gates, Tamice Gates, Griffin Gates, Martin Lonn Jr., Matthew Lonn, Mikayla Dennis, and Marcus Lonn; twenty-one great grandchildren (with the twenty-second expected soon), Kathryn Youmans, Isabella Larsen, Kailey Spetoskey, Carissa Spetoskey, Olivia Youmans, Paige Tompsett, Megan Tompsett, Patrick Tompsett, Taylor Tompsett, Noah Gates, Brennan Gates, Thalen Doerr, Alyssa Borden, Hailey Borden, Jack Gates, Bailey Gates, Landon Lonn, Lawson Lonn, Payton Dennis, Sawyer Dennis, and Elise Gates; a sister, Janet Beetley of Alma; and three nephews.

Visitation is Wednesday from 1-3 and 5-7 p.m. at Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville. As Leo requested, no funeral services will be held and burial will take place privately at Forest Hill Cemetery, Stanton. Envelopes for memorial contributions to Spectrum Health Hospice are available at the funeral home.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Leo’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on October 25, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Posted by: Larry & Susan Anstett
    Leo was such a great neighbor and will be sadly missed. He was so loyal to his dog walks.

    Posted by: kathy mills
    So sorry to hear of your loss Ben and Kathy. Sending a hug to family.
    Love Grandma Florida

    Posted by: Linda miller

    You are going to be missed badly at mcdonalds we all love you gramps you were alway a very happy person god bless and I will never for get a double hamburger with no pickle and a senior diet

    Posted by: Paul & Deb Skarl

    to all of Leo’s family, sending thoughts and prayers to all of you.. I have so many fond memories of spending time at your home growing up.. Love to all

    Posted by: Vicki & Jerry Groll
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.

    Posted by: Andy & Dawn Dorn

    To the entire Gates family we are so sorry for your loss. We are sending lots of love and prayers your way. To my sister in law Julie, I love you and I am here if you need me.

    Posted by: Mary Johnson

    Brenda, Julie, Nancy, Roger and families: I am so so sorry to see of Leo’s passing. He was family to me too! Brenda, I will be in touch. Unfortunately I am working Wednesday and will not be able to come to visitation. I sit here at work with tears in my eyes for you all. I have many memories of him. Love you all. Mary


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