“He makes his life a mission of service to family, friends, and country. He finds new ways to help his neighbors, installing a water heater for one, replacing a car battery for another, helping to dress an old friend suffering from cancer and supplying the neighborhood with vegetables from his garden.” This quote comes from Carl (Pop or Poppy) Gates’ nomination for 2002 Olympic Torch Bearer and sums up his life.
Carl was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the Naval Reserve and retired from NASA after 30 years of employment. He was a 1953 graduate of Athens College and a Master Mason and Shriner.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Athens.
Survivors include his children, Amy Caldwell and husband Rich of Horse Cave, Ky., Doug Gates and wife Betsy of Athens, and Connie Gates of Huntsville; grandchildren, Sam Gates and wife Kimberly of, Athens, Alice Allen and husband Chase of Birmingham, Sally Cole and husband Steven of Bowling Green, Ky., and Caroline Gates of Athens; great-granddaughter, Ann Adele Allen of Birmingham; sisters, Lucille Hargrove, and Iris McIneer and husband James; brother, Howard Gates and wife Geralda; a host of nieces and nephews; special friend, Joyce Mitchell; and caretakers, Laura and Elizabeth Gana.
He was preceded in death by wife, Lillian A. Gates; grandson, Mac Gates; brothers, Allen Gates, Mack Gates, Gerald Gates and Byron Gates; and sister, Lorene Adams.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church in Athens. Visitation is from 2-3:45 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church Beasley Center.
Donations may be sent to: McIntosh Stewart Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund, First Methodist Church, Athens AL 35611.