Donald I. Gates, of Traer, died Sunday, November 18, 2012 at Sunrise Hill Care and Rehab Center. He was born December 14, 1927 in Traer, son of Ira E. and Lola Marie Patten Gates. He married Angela M. Ferry on September 6, 1948 in Tama, Iowa.
Mr. Gates worked in the family business, then became Office Manager for Traer Municipal Utilities on January 1, 1951 and was appointed City Clerk on March 1, 1951. On January 1, 1955 he began work at a local bank as Assistant Cashier. In February 1959 Don and his family moved to Evansdale and started a new bank office for the Jesup bank. In November 1959, he returned to his original position in Traer. In 1965 Don was elected to the Board of Directors, succeeding Otto F. Moeller after Otto's death. At the time of his retirement at the end of 1989, he was Executive Vice President of the bank and Secretary of the Board. Don was an active member of the community, serving on the City Council for several years and was elected Mayor of Traer for 1974-75. He served as President of the Traer Golf Course, Traer Lions Club and North Tama Booster Club. He was the initial Treasurer for the organizing body during it's construction of the Sunrise Hill Care and Rehab Center and continued as it's Treasurer during it's early years of operation. He served as Treasurer for the Traer Cub Scout Troop, American Red Cross and Treasurer of the originating Jaycees. He was Past President of Tama County Bankers and Group 7 Bankers. He also served on the Tama County Inheritance Tax Board, Tama County Compensation Board, Chairman and Board Member of the Traer Zoning Board of Appeals, Adjutant for the American Legion in the early 1950's and Auditor for the Miss Tama County Beauty Pageant.
Since his retirement, he has served several years as an Election Official with his wife Angela, who he first appointed to the job in 1951 while he was City Clerk. Don is a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and served in many capacities for his church, including two terms on the Parish Council. He and Angela lived most of their married life at 805 Second Street, just a half a block from where he was born. In his spare time he enjoyed his family and grandchildren along with golfing with his friends. In the summer of l985 he and Angela were privileged to play golf with the The Most Reverend Daniel E. Sheehan, Archbishop of Omaha and Fr. Hitch, on a trip to Okoboji, which he was most proud of. Don was City Golf Champion many years during the l960's and early 1970's. His daughter, Janis, was his "very supportive caddy" during those matches. From 1973 to 1986 Don and son Thomas owned large touring motorcycles with which they took many cross-country trips together.
Don is survived by his wife, Angela of Traer; daughter Janis (Bill) Heckroth of Waverly, son Thomas (Lai) of Phoenix, AZ; five grandchildren; brother Russell (Clara) of Satsuma, Florida; sister-in-law, Elsie Gates. He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Herbert J. and Kenneth.