Harry “Chuck” Gates passed away on October 4, at age 88. Chuck was born on June 17, 1935 to Harry A. and Clara Martin Gates. He was the oldest of 3 children and had two younger sisters, Nancy (Harvold) and Sally (Spargur). He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1954, and enlisted in the Army, serving for 3 years. He worked a variety of jobs before being hired at Georgia Pacific. He worked there for 35 years, retiring as a foreman. He always laughed that he started in the tissue mill and ended up on the other end at the chlorine plant. In 1960, he married Louise Chapdelaine in British Columbia, they were blessed with three children and 23 years of marriage before her passing in 1983.
Chuck was a devoted family man, always one to play with his kids, nieces and nephews as they were growing up. Many of them have fond memories of him teaching them to swim, water ski and skate. He had a passion for sports, enjoying activities such as hockey, fishing, camping, skiing, and golf in his younger years (he even caddied at the BGCC when he was 12). He coached his kids in many sports including hockey, where he was the president of the Bellingham Minor Hockey.
In 1987, Chuck went on a blind date with Linda Roe Chartier, set up by his friend Mick Moynihan, a local judge. On Veterans Day 1989 Mick officiated their wedding. Their family grew with the addition of Linda’s children, Marc and Renee. When they became empty nesters, Chuck and Linda embarked on many ski holidays and explored national parks in their motorhome, always having their golf clubs ready.
In 2000, Chuck and Linda joined the Bellingham Golf and Country Club, where they are still members. In 2013, they discovered the joys of snowbirding, and eventually bought a little home in Sun City, AZ where Chuck made many more friends.
Chuck is survived by his wife Linda Gates, his children Penny Gates, Dale Gates, and David Gates, as well as his stepchildren Marc Chartier and Renee Chartier. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren – Kelsey Gates, Caitlin Gates, Cami (Evan) Gates, Delilah Gates, George Chartier, Raylin Wallace, Sevyn Gates, and two great-grandchildren – Allen Bright and Fern Gates. He was preceded in death by his first wife Louise (Chapdelaine) Gates, sister Sally Spargur, granddaughter Olivia Valenzuela, and many brothers and sisters-in-law.
Please join us for a Celebration of Life on Saturday, October 21, 2023, from 1 to 4 PM at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club. He wanted a 50’s dance, so bring your dancing shoes (50’s attire optional) and good memories to share.