Randy Gates

Obituary of Randy Gates

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Randy (Gator) Gates passed away peacefully with his wife, daughters, and stepdaughters by his side on April 17, 2024, at the Creston Valley Hospital. He was born in Rosetown, SK to Gib and Betty Gates. Randy cherished his upbringing in Eatonia, SK, where he formed lasting memories of hockey on outdoor rinks. At the age of 17, Randy embarked on his junior hockey journey with the Weyburn Redwings. He moved on to play professional hockey, playing a total of 270 games mostly with the Fort Wayne Komets and the Fort Worth Wings. He was eventually invited to take part in the Detroit Redwings training camp, where he met Gordie Howe. This was one of the biggest highlights of his hockey career. Unfortunately, while at training camp, a devastating neck injury abruptly halted his professional career.

Randy then moved with his young family to Cranbrook, BC, joining the Cranbrook Royals until his injury redirected him toward a new path. He began working for Columbia Brewery, where he loved driving the delivery trucks and enjoying the accompanying breakage. Despite his injury, he continued his love for hockey with the Cranbrook Colonels Oldtimers, enjoying the camaraderie and joy the sport brought him.

In Cranbrook, Randy met Marlene, his partner and wife of 38 years. They later relocated to Creston in 2002, where Randy spent his remaining working years at the Columbia Brewing plant. In 2004, they settled in Wynndel. Around this time, they discovered Fish Hawk Bay on Kootenay Lake, where they purchased an RV and discovered a love of sailing on their boat, “Slightly Crewed.” Many fond memories were created sailing and motoring with kids and grandkids onboard during their summer vacations.

Randy was above all else a proud father to four girls. Two of his own, Laurie and Stacey and two stepdaughters, Sarah and Robyn. He took a unique pride in helping to raise strong, confident women. He was so proud of each of them and always encouraged their individuality. Any opportunity to learn and grow alongside them was welcomed. Also, asking them if they’d changed the oil in their cars recently and advising them on tire pressure was his favourite pastime. His sense of humour and giving nature will be missed by all.

Randy was preceded in death by his father Gib, mother Betty, brother David, father and mother-in-law Roy and Pat, brother-in-law Daniel, and brother-in-law Ken.

He is survived by his wife Marlene, daughters Laurie and Stacey (Shawn), stepdaughters Sarah (John) and Robyn (Jason), sisters Gloria and Laurie (Tom), brother Scott (Brenda), brother-in law Darren (Lynda), and stepfather Jim, along with eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Thank you to Dr. Hart, Dr. Persad, Dr. Weaver and the nursing staff at the Creston Valley Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to make a memorial donation may do so to the Creston Hospital - Equipment Fund, Bag 3000, Creston, BC V0B 1G0, or online at www.ekfh.ca, and choose Creston Valley Hospital from the drop-down menu would be appreciated.

A Celebration of Life Service to be held at a later date.

Condolences for the family may be offered at www.crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca

Funeral Arrangements entrusted to Creston Valley Funeral Services.

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