Harry "Poose" Allen Gates, 85, joined his precious Nancy, wife of nearly 65 years, to live eternally in God's care on Wednesday March 27, 2019.
Nancy Jean Nevitt Gates preceded him in death July 6, 2017, and he longed to be by her side.
Harry was born Aug. 21, 1933, the "Little Papoose" to Sarah and Bruce Gates of Osterburg.
He was preceded in death by his two brothers, William and Wilson Gates; and by his sister, Rose "Dottie" Gates Bowser.
Harry will be greatly missed by those he leaves behind: His close friend and sister, Gladys "Snip" Gates-Henderson of The Village at Morrison's Cove in Martinsburg; and his five children: three sons and their wives, Lanford, "Lenny" Gates and wife, Dianne Suttmiller Gates, of Schellsburg; Joseph "Joe" Gates and wife, Kathy Beltz Gates, of Schellsburg; Michael "Mike" Gates and wife, Susan MacGregor Gates, of Schellsburg; and two daughters, Cindy Gates of Cessna; and Heidi Gates of Bedford.
He also has many nephews, nieces and cousins whom he greatly enjoyed. He adored his 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Harry was a Believer in Jesus Christ as His Saviour and often attended Pine Grove United Methodist Church in Reynoldsdale. He also enjoyed attending Sundays along with his children at their different home churches for service or special events.
He was an Army Veteran, member of the SCARWAF, Special Category Army with Air Force where he worked as a Crane Operator in Germany. He received recognition as Service Man of the Week.
Harry officially retired in 1996 with forty six years of working as a Heavy Equipment Operator. He worked out of the Local #66 Union for Operating Engineers in Pittsburgh, and most recently for Colosimo Construction prior to that was Gambles and Wilson Construction Companies. Harry was chosen as an Instructor with the local #66 Union to teach new Heavy Equipment Operators. He first gained experience and knowledge working for his own Dad, Bruce Gates, as a young boy.
He had a reputation of being sought for difficult jobs requiring a high level of expertise and skill within his profession. After his "official retirement," Harry purchased different machines over the next twenty one years to complete projects for friends and family that included clearing land, digging foundations, ditches, ponds and anything else that could involve "moving dirt" which he so enjoyed. Harry was known to complete extensive work and often be content with compensation as simple as a fresh baked apple pie dropped at his door.
He had a great sense of humor and wit and enjoyed spending time with his wife, family, visiting grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attending sporting events, going out to eat, McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, playing cards, watching western movies and Gunsmoke, talking about old times, sacred memories and spending time with his treasured dog and faithful companion, Sarah. Harry and Nancy took many camping trips down South, a train-ride adventure out West, and hosted numerous cook outs, Holidays and Sunday dinners at their home.
Harry's "can fix and do anything" ability blessed his entire family with memories and stories of his unending willingness to serve. He and Nancy lived over sixty years in the house that Harry built with his own hands. He leaves behind a legacy of strong work ethic, character and a servant, giving, heart. His family rejoices and is glad for his arrival in Heaven!
Please join them in their celebration of Harry's life at J. Edward Blackburn Funeral Home in Pleasantville. Services are as follows: Sunday, March 31, viewing from 4 to 7 p.m. and Monday, April 1, viewing from 10 to 11 a.m., with the funeral immediately following at 11 a.m. There will then be an honor-guard graveside service. The family is asking that in lieu of flowers that people please consider making a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project by mail at Wounded Warrior Project PO Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or online at support.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate
Online condolences may be expressed at jedwardblackburnfh.com.
Arrangements by the J. Edward Blackburn Funeral Home.