Conan Doyle Gates

December 20, 1924 - January 30, 2020
Bellingham, WA

Conan Doyle Gates

December 20, 1924 - January 30, 2020
Bellingham, WA


Conan “Doyle” Gates was born in 1924 in Hockerville, Oklahoma.  The oldest of six children.  Growing up during the Depression, his father worked many jobs and the family moved frequently.  Conan attended school through the eighth grade, when he quit to help the family financially.  He later obtained a GED.  In his late teens, the family headed west to California to find seasonal work.  At the end of the season, his family returned home to Oklahoma, but Conan stayed behind in California to work odd jobs.

In April 1948 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was assigned work as an airplane mechanic.  While stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Base, he met the love of his life, Muriel Jones.  They soon married and lived 68 happy years together.  After completing his military service, he and Muriel moved to a small farm in Whatcom County.  Conan worked shift work for 33 years at Georgia Pacific Pulp and Paper Mill, at the same time farming chickens.  He built their family home and enjoyed puttering around the farm.  And always willing to lend a hand to his neighbors and family when help was needed.

Conan was the videographer of the Gates family, recording family events with his 8mm camera and later a video camera.  He filmed many of his grandchildren’s birthdays, sporting events, concerts and many other special occasions. He enjoyed painting, especially mountain scenes, gardening, bee keeping, reading, eating chocolate, camping in their motor home, and fishing at Baker and Ross Lakes.  After retiring, he volunteered weekly delivering “Meals on Wheels” for homebound seniors.  Conan enjoyed traveling.  He and Muriel made many road trips to visit family in Oklahoma, passing through most of the western states along the way.  In later years, they enjoyed touring the mid and east coast states, Hawaii, and cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and the Panama Canal.

Those who visited with Conan during his last year of life heard him tell stories of his growing up during the Depression, helping his family financially at a very young age, living on his own for the first time in California, joining the navy and traveling the world, then settling down into a happy, contented family life.  Conan was a kind and humble man of integrity who lived a full 95 years.

He is survived by his three children Duane Gates (Beth), Ken Gates (Connie), and Maryann Rohde (Leroy), 11 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren.  Conan is also survived by his sister, Delores Seay of Gore, Oklahoma.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Muriel Gates, parents Claude and Frances Gates, sister Doris Rowe, and brothers Claude, J.R., and Chester Gates.

Funeral Service

  • Date & Time: February 14, 2020 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes Greenacres
  • Location: 5700 NW Dr. Ferndale, WA 98248 - (Get Directions)

Graveside Service

  • Date & Time: February 14, 2020 (2:00 PM)
  • Venue: Greenacres Memorial Park
  • Location: 5700 NW Dr., WA - (Get Directions)

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1 responses to Conan Doyle Gates

  1. Thinking of you all during this time of loss. Gates was a wonderful man, I have many fond memories spent at the home of Conan and Muriel Gates during my childhood. He will be greatly missed by so many. A gentle and kind man.


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