Willie J. Gates

Born: Sun., Apr. 22, 1945
Died: Wed., May 17, 2017


11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Fri., May 26, 2017
Location: Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church

Funeral Service

12:00 PM Fri., May 26, 2017
Location: Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Willie Joe Gates, a resident of Garfield Avenue, Elkhart, Indiana passed away on Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the age of 72. He was born on April 22, 1945 in Tupelo, Mississippi to Brenandrew Gates and Emma Lee (Tolbert).

He had lived in Elkhart since coming from Mississippi. On June 5, 1976, in Elkhart, he and Annie L. Tolbert were married. Mr. Gates was employed in the Street Department for the city of Elkhart for 21 years. Also, he was a member of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church. His hobbies were fishing, watching television, especially cowboys, and traveling.

He leaves to mourn his loss, two daughters: Patricia Hamilton and Ivy Copeland, both of Elkhart, Indiana; four grandchildren: Holoa Tolbert, DelVon Tolbert, Sasha Tolbert and Sondia Branscomb; great-grandchildren, Shamyiah Tolbert, Chase Tolbert, Camille Tolbert, and Amir Gowdy; sisters: Dorothy (Alonzo) Harris, Diana (Mangle) Causey, Emma (Earl) McCaster, and Jackie Harris, all of Elkhart, Indiana, and Mary Alice (Donald) Tate of South Bend, Indiana; brothers: Louis Charles Gates, Willie Walter (Erma) Gates, and Jimmy (Delores) Gates, all of Elkhart, Indiana; sisters-in-law, Sharon (Rayford) Levy and Valerie (Lawrence) Williams of Atlanta, Georgia; and a brother-in-law, W.A. (Junienne) Tolbert of Memphis, Tennessee; along with a host of uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Eliza Scott; sisters: Myrtis Gates and Minnie Scott; brothers: James L. and Willie Lee; sisters-in-law: Shannah Gates, Carol Sue Gates, Bessie Gates, and Blanch Gates.

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Sidney Jackson Jr
   Posted Wed May 24, 2017
I am so sorry for Gates loss, Willie Joe & his brothers came to Mississippi with my parents to pick me up when I was about 4 years old. The Gates been like Family & friends to us ,Willie Joe will be missed dearly by everyone who knew him. I use to live right across the street from him, we always visit each other,we use to crack each other up laughing. Miss you Willie Joe Gates RIP

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