James Crockett Gates passed away on Dec. 17, 2020 from complications of COVID-19, in Hillsboro Ore. He was born on April 10, 1936, in Springfield, Ore., to Frank and Hazel Gates. In 1963, he married Linda Roche and started a family, moving several times within western Oregon for work opportunities, ultimately settling in Florence in the summer of 1980. He worked for his dear friend, Ray Wells, for several years at Viking Redi-mix before taking it over and running the business himself until the mid 1990s, at which time he sold the business. He then started P&G Trucking and worked in the field of concrete pumping for several more years until he finally retired. At that point, he helped his family open up the children’s clothing store, Mother May I, in August of 2003.
James, or better known as Jim to his friends, had many loves. He loved golf, despite it not always loving him back. He loved his model Christmas Village which grew from a few pieces on the mantel, to an enormous city which spanned the entire length and width of his workshop. He loved sports, specifically the Dodgers and the Ducks. But most of all, the love he had for his family was nothing short of immense. No matter what, he was a husband and father first and foremost, no matter the circumstances.
Jim had the rare ability of making people feel special. He truly and genuinely cared about everyone he came into contact with. He would take the time to sit down and talk about anything and everything in a way that made you feel like you were the only one he cared about in that moment. This ability never wavered. He may not have had much energy in his final months, but his intent and spirit allowed him to continue to make people feel special.
He is survived by Linda, his wife of 57 years; four children, son Cameron and daughters Shannon, Alicia, and Quinn; and 11 grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held at a later date yet to be determined due to the ongoing pandemic. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Lane County.