Obituary of William Lawrence Gates

William Lawrence Gates, Jr., age 82, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away Sunday, February 24, 2019, in Pittsburg, Kansas.

He was born April 22, 1936, in Dewey, Oklahoma, the son of Rev. W. L. Gates, Sr. and Donna Hurley Gates. He first married Dixie Dill. They later divorced. He later married Billie Short and she preceded him in death. Bill grew up in the Church of God (Holiness). He enjoyed racing cars, hunting, fishing and being outdoors. He also liked taking care of his cows and watching Western movies especially those starring John Wayne.

Survivors include his children, Debbie Stewart, of Ft. Scott, Donna Smith (Nathan), also of Ft. Scott; Randy Gates (Angela), of Girard, Kansas and Victoria Gates, also of Ft. Scott; and four grandchildren, Kayla Smith, of Ft. Scott, DeAnn Hixon, of Topeka, Kansas, Nate Smith, of Springfield, Missouri and Melissa Gates of Quetwa, Oklahoma. Also surviving are a brother, Don Gates, of Kodiak, Alaska and a sister, Frances Wise, of Wichita, Kansas.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a son, William L. Gates III, a daughter, Dixie Diane Hixon; a brother, James Gates and three sisters, Ida Durkee, Ethelene Richardson and Ella Judy.

Pastor Trevor Jacobs will conduct graveside services at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, March 2nd at the Oak Grove Cemetery. Family and friends may meet on Saturday at the Cheney Witt Chapel prior to leaving for the cemetery at 10:45 A.M. Memorials are suggested to Ft. Scott Christian Heights or to Comfort Care Homes of Pittsburg and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

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