Gary Bates passed away peacefully at home May 17, 2018, surrounded by his loving family after a long illness.
Gary was born in Johnsburg, N.Y., on June 27, 1937, to Glenn and Mildred (Stewart) Bates. He attended a one-room schoolhouse in Garnet Lake, N.Y., until the family moved to Warrensburg, N.Y., where he graduated in 1955. He worked in the Grand Union, where he met Claire Culver. They were married in 1957 and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year.
In 1957, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Roswell, N.M. He returned to Warrensburg in 1961 before moving to Riverhead, N.Y., in 1963 to work for Grumman Aerospace, where he stayed for 30 years. When Gary retired in 1998, he and Claire returned to Warrensburg.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Lois (Gary) Dinizio, Brenda (Edward) Reeve and Richard (Anne) Bates, all of Riverhead; eight grandchildren, Matthew (Katie) Dinizio, Stephanie (Kenny) Woychuk, Mandi (Brian) Carmichael, Melanie (Mike) Drozd, Adam (Alexandria) Reeve, Amy (Tim) Selock, Michelle (Nick) Monaghan and Deborah (Matt) Suprina; and 14 great-grandchildren, Nicholas and Alex Dinizio, Noah, Tucker and Sydney Woychuk, Nadine, Abbie and Preston Carmichael, Maxwell and Callen Drozd, Jacob and Lily Selcok and Lilly and Lailah Monaghan; as well as his sister, Nancy (Allen) Edmunds; sister-in-law, Elaine Jeffords of Queensbury, N.Y.; an aunt, Barbara Stewart of Ticonderoga, N.Y.; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Gary and Claire were avid motorcyclists, going cross-country on more than one occasion until his illness prevented him from riding. Gary loved to hunt and was a proud member of the NRA.
Calling hours will be Monday, May 21, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Alexander Funeral Home in Warrensburg, followed by a celebration of Gary’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Warrensburg EMS.
A memorial service will also be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at Riverhead United Methodist Church.
This is a paid notice.