Jack and Joyce Gates were married and in love for 70 years.
He was one of the greats of The Greatest Generation. An active member of VFW Post 3473, he was the Post Chaplain at one time. He served in World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam. Jack was awarded the Bronze Star for rescuing an American journalist in 1966, while serving in Saudi Arabia.
In his youth he was a champion Race Car driver; he served 20 years in the Air Force and was one of the first generation of computer programmers.
Jack and Joyce owned the Penobscot Ranch in California, hosting school tours and summer camp. During those years he learned leather working and saddle repair. Jack and Joyce moved to Cottage Grove in 2012, and immediately set up Gates Leather Shop. A master craftsman, he repaired saddles, made chaps for the Rodeo Queens, fixed saddlebags for motorcycles, and designed many custom items.
He restored a 1927 Model T and drove it in the parades in Cottage Grove and Creswell.
He took time to listen and share with friends and strangers alike. He gave positive advice to those who needed it, and he would follow up with them. He had a quick mind and was a tinkerer all of his life. He never lost his delight in life or living.