Cover photo for Henry R.  Gates Iii's Obituary
Henry R.  Gates Iii Profile Photo
1934 Henry 2020

Henry R. Gates Iii

January 7, 1934 — May 3, 2020

Henry R. Gates III 

January 7th, 1934 to May 3, 2020 

Port Charlotte - Henry Richard Gates III, (Dick) age 86, died peacefully on ­­­­Sunday, May 3, 2020, in his home in Port Charlotte, FL with his loving wife by his side.  He is preceded in death by his parents Henry Richard Gates, Jr & Maxine Gates, as well as his first wife Marilyn Gates, his son Stephen Richard and daughter Dianne Marie Gates, daughter-in-law Judy and grandson Bradley Robert Gates.  He leaves behind his wife of 39 years, Jane Gates, daughter Pamela (Gordon) Rawling, sons Daniel (Dawn) Gates, William (Miriam) Gates and Anthony (Marlo) Gates. Sisters Judy (Warren) Cribbons, Betty Sue (Patrick) O’Brien and Barbara (Richard) Berdan.  9 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. 

Dick, a proud Marine, is a veteran of the Korean War where he was injured and awarded the Purple Heart.  However, he refused it stating that others deserved it more.  He still carries a piece of shrapnel with him.  He grew up in Port Huron, MI where he developed his talent and love for singing.  With his beautiful tenor voice, he helped to entertain the troops on the ship headed to Korea as well as on the front lines when it was too dangerous for the USO to come in.  He performed at the Officers Clubs while stateside also.  After serving 3 years as Military Police as a Marine, he returned home. Once home he worked various jobs while taking classes at Eastern Michigan University and starting a family.  In 1961, Dick joined the U.S. Customs Service, working land borders, ferry crossings, rail cars, airports as well as private and commercial vessels entering and exiting our country.  In 1988, Dick became a Supervisory Inspector in the port of Port Huron. The last several years of his career he was the training supervisor for the port.  After 33 years with the U.S. Customs Service, in 1994 Dick and Jane decided it was time for him to trade in his uniforms for civilian clothes so he could pursue his love of fishing, traveling, singing and seeing more of his family. 

Once in retirement, Dick was a member of various chorale groups such as the Shubert Club, Knoxville Choral Society, North Port Chorale and South Point Square Singers. He was also a member of quartets and show groups, the most recent was the Soundsations with North Port Chorale.  Both he and Jane were part of the “Turtle Patrol” crew that checked area beaches first thing in the morning for sea turtle nests.  Upon finding a nest, they would stake it off so the eggs had a chance to hatch.  Even in retirement Dick still served and protected.

Dick will be cremated and his ashes will be divided between Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron near his parents, children, and grandson and in Opportunity, Montana.  It was in Montana, standing in a stream with a fly-fishing pole in his hands and his loving wife by his side, that he was one with nature.   

So, go Dad, and be one with the universe. Sing to us in our memories.  You were well-loved and will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations are made to the Coastal Wildlife Club,, PO Box 2022, Englewood, FL, 34295.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Henry R. Gates Iii, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 7, 2020

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Johnson-Taylor Funeral & Cremation

1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

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