Francis G. “John” Gates passed away at his home, 1000 Old Plank Road, Waterford, PA, on Sunday, July 24, 2011 after a long illness. He was born in Cambridge Springs, PA on July 17, 1925, the son of the late Ardell and Gertrude Petticord Gates. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister – Ruth Gates Manross Waid.

Gates, Francis G. John served in the Pacific theater during World War II. Following his military service, he worked for many years at Penn Brass & Copper in Erie, PA and then for 25 years at Elgin Electronics in Waterford, PA. He retired as a buyer from there in 1985.

John was a member of the Waterford Asbury United Methodist Church and sang in the Church’s choir. He also was a member of Waterford Masonic Lodge # 425 for over fifty years and served there as a Past Master.

John loved music, especially classical and sacred. Through the years he was a guest soloist for many area churches and sang with the Scottish Rite Choir and Moniuszko Glee Club. He also enjoyed restoring old tractors, woodworking, and spent hours doing genealogy for family and friends. Most of all, he loved spending time with his children and great grandchildren.

He his survived by his wife of 61 years – Marjorie Allen Gates; one son – R. Kim Gates (Ellie Zygai) of Waterford; one daughter – Karen Brown (Daryl) of Cambridge Springs; six grandchildren; two step grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and one step-grandchild. He is also survived by a first cousin – Philip Drake (Mabel) of Cambridge Springs; two nephews; a niece and several special friends – the Rettger family and numerous other relatives and friends.

Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs on Wednesday from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm. Masonic services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at the Funeral Home with Reverend Dennis Fetter, pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in Waterford and Reverend Barbara English, pastor of the McKean United Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will be in Cambridge Springs Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Asbury Church Music Department or to the charity of one’s choice.