Sept. 21, 1939 – Oct. 10, 2018
Funeral services for Jack Gary Cates, 79, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 at 10 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints between Greybull and Basin. Dedication of the grave will immediately follow at the Donald J. Ruhl Memorial Cemetery in Greybull, after which a luncheon will be served at the church.
Gary was born Sept. 21, 1939, in Billings, Mont., to Jack G. and Geraldine (Saunders) Cates. He grew up primarily in Billings and graduated from BillingsHigh School. In 1960 he married Karen Hoffman and together they had three children. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman and Eastern Montana College in Billings where, in 1975, he earned a BS in Business with a minor in Communications.
After college graduation he had an interesting career starting with several different positions in the food industry. He worked at American Rent-all in Billings and finished his professional years as the accountant and office manager for Big Horn Rural Electric in Basin, Wyo.
In June of 2000, Gary underwent a heart transplant and was returned to much healthier life. While recovering from his transplant, he did volunteer work for Meals on Wheels, hospice and Channel 7 Community TV in Billings. After relocating back to Basin, Wyo., he worked for the Big Horn County Library and drove bus for School District #4.
Gary loved music. He grew up in a musical family and loved to sing. He would join in with his mother during her jam sessions and they jammed until she was close to 90. He joined both church and community choirs wherever he lived. He was athletic and loved playing any sport with baseball being his favorite. He played as long as his body, and wife, would allow. He also coached Little League in Billings for many years and helped coach the Nationals team in Basin, Wyo. He especially enjoyed the years that his son Jason coached alongside him.
In 2004 he married Amy Irvine in Basin, Wyo. They had a blended family with seven children. Amy also loves music so they enjoyed date nights singing together in the community choir. They went as often as they could to musical and theatre performances.
Gary was an avid reader and loved to fish. He participated in theatrical performances and working in the sound booth for those performances. He served as a board member and the sound man for the Basin City Arts Center.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Geraldine Cates and his brother in law Randy Mead. He is survived by his wife Amy, children Suzen Garrison, Lisa Chestnut, Jason Cates and stepchildren Duncan (Julie) Irvine, Daniel Irvine, Zachary (Frances) Irvine and Hannah (Dalin) Winters, brothers Gordon (Martha) Cates, Michael (Donna) Cates and sisters Barbara Mead and Rinda (Gordon) Galarneau and many nieces and nephews. He was blessed with and loved spending time with his 28 grand and great grandchildren.
Memorial donations in Gary’s name may be made to the Friends of the Basin Library or the Basin City Arts Center.