Max Gardner Gates of Gordon died Nov. 30, 2015 at Heritage Estates in Gering.
Max was born in Gordon, Neb. to Folsom Halton and Nellie May (Hedges) Gates on February 18, 1929. He attended Gordon Public Schools, graduating in 1947. He attended University of Northern Colorado at Greeley and Colorado State University at Fort Collins, graduating from San Francisco School of Mortuary Science in San Francisco, Cali. Max returned to Gordon and joined his grandfather and father in the business, Newton S. Gates and Son-Furniture and Morticians. He was inducted into the U. S. Army in 1952 and discharged in 1954 after being stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Fort Bliss in Texas and Presidio of San Francisco. He returned to Gordon following discharge. Upon the death of Max’s grandfather and retirement of his father, Max went into business with Thomas O. Chamberlain of Chadron and they formed Chamberlain-Gates Mortuary in 1969. This partnership continued until Max’s retirement in 1991.
On June 13, 1959, Max married Carolyn Anne “Jimmie” Stetter at Gordon. To this union, two children were born, William “Bill” Folsom and Mary Sue.
Max was a member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon and retired member of the Gordon Volunteer Fire Department.
Survivors include wife, Carolyn “Jimmie”, son Bill (Sharon) of Cody, Wyo.; daughter Mary Sue (Scott) Larson of Scottsbluff; sister-in-law, Willis (Eldon) Mundorf; brother-in-law, Wm. R. “Bob” (Delia) Stetter; grandchildren Bradley James Gates, Steven Lee Gates, Matthew Jacob Gates, Whitney Anne Larson and Reagan Marie Weber; great grandson Max Weber; four nephews and three nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents Folsom and Nellie May Gates, sister Carmen S. Birkby and brother-in-law Dr. Walter H. Birkby.
Mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Leo’s Catholic Church with Father Joseph and Father Tim Stoner officiating. Interment will be in Gordon Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Bob Alcorn, Zale Quible, Michael Varn, Link Thompson, Larry Turnbull and Gary Gould. Honorary Pallbearers were all of Max’s friends.
A memorial has been established to St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Gordon Volunteer Fire Department, or the Donors choice. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, P.O. Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.
Max’s family could not have been more blessed by the care and love received from the entire staff at Heritage Estates in Gering. The kindness extended to Max and his family during his illness and the compassion shown during his last days was exceptional. Words cannot express our appreciation. Heritage Estates’ motto, “Dignity in life” was clearly accomplished during Max’s illness and for that his family is grateful. Family would also like to thank Prairie Haven Hospice for the love, guidance and support.
Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home of Gordon is in charge of arrangements.