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Terry Lee Gates
June 26, 1950 ~ October 19, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
12 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Terry's family - View on Tribute Wall
Terry Lee Gates, our beloved husband, Dad, and Papa entered into eternal life on October 19, 2023. Terry was born in Mishawaka to Anne and Larry Gates on June 26, 1950. After graduating from Mishawaka High School, Terry enlisted in the Army and proudly served his country for three years including a year of service in Vietnam from 1969-1970. Upon returning from war, Terry married the love of his life, Teresa (Swadener) in 1971 and the two who had grown up with each other built a life and family together. Terry and Terry were married for more than 52 years and were blessed with three children and ten grandchildren.
Terry worked for the City of Mishawaka for over thirty years and retired as chief mechanic of the Mishawaka water department. He especially enjoyed mentoring countless young men who worked for him over the years, and he was always grateful for the lifelong friendships that he formed there with Denny Merritt and Denny Lutz.
Terry loved his years playing fast pitch softball with friends, fishing with his dad, and bowling in leagues with his sons, father-in-law, and dad. He will be remembered as an epic storyteller (he claimed some of them were even true!) and a man who called it like it was. The things he was most proud of in life were being a veteran and his family. Terry’s stepmother Patty became an important and beloved part of his life.
At the end of his life, Terry asked to be baptized and he became Catholic just two days before he passed. Terry died peacefully with his wife and children around him. Terry was preceded in death by his dad, Larry Gates, his mom Anne Philips, his unborn baby and unborn grandchild. He is survived by his loving wife Terry, his children Jim (Kelly) Gates, Kristy (Dave) Dill, and Christopher (Mary) Gates, and grandkids Allyson, Zachary, Maddy, Jordan, Autumn Rose, Charlie, AJ, Lucas, Stella, and Gus, as well as his stepmother Patty Gates, his sisters Traci Gates and Cathie Chamberlain, and his Uncle Tom and Aunt Darlene Philips.
Visitation will be held 2 hours prior to the 7:00pm funeral service on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at Wells and Cruz Family Funeral Home (Formerly Goethals and Wells) in Mishawaka. Cremation will follow and Terry will be laid to rest at a later date. A livestream of Terry's service may be viewed in real time in the video window below.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Terry's memory to the Wounded Warrior Project. To light a virtual candle, share a story of Terry’s life, or leave a message of comfort for his family, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.