GATES, Ross Robert
Ross Robert Gates was born on the 23rd of March 1948, in Beaverlodge, Alberta, the son of Robert and Inez Gates. He shared the same birthdate as his mother Inez. Ross passed away peacefully at the age of 67 after a short and courageous battle with cancer.
Ross is predeceased by his parents Robert Gates (22 April, 1994) and Inez Gates (9 February, 2017). He is survived by his loving wife Billie, and siblings Barry (Maureen) Ken (Annette) Craig (Joan) and Maureen.
Ross lived his younger childhood years in Beaverlodge, Jasper, and Penticton. His family moved to Ponoka, Alberta in 1965. He attended High School in Ponoka and worked at several jobs in the community as well as in the oil fields during his later teens and early twenties. Ross started working at Alberta Hospital Ponoka in 1969.
Ross married Billie Savage on 27 February, 1971. After their wedding, Ross went back to school to work on a registered nursing degree at Red Deer College, and during this time worked in Red Deer while living in Sylvan Lake.
Ross decided to make a change in career paths and applied to the Alberta Forestry Service for a position as a forestry tower observer. His first position was at Sunshine/O’Chiese Lookout Tower on the Ochiese Reserve and the Rocky Tower, both near Rocky Mountain House. He and Billie were practically adopted by the local first nations people as he had developed such a strong relationship with them.
Ross was later posted to the White Mountain Lookout Tower in the Saddle Hills near Spirit River where he spent most of his 37-year career with the Alberta Forestry Service. He was recognized as being one of the longest serving and most dedicated members of the Forestry Service.
Ross made friends easily with everyone he met. His quick wit and great sense of humour endeared him to everyone. Ross was a very kind and compassionate person. He loved his home community of Mirror, Alberta and his friends living there. He will be dearly missed by our family and all who knew him. Our fond memories of Ross will remain forever and will always bring a smile to our faces.
If you wish to share your insights on Ross, please feel free to do so on the Wilson’s Funeral Home site.