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YADKINVILLE - Retired Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Gates died Monday, March 29, 2004, as a result of injuries sustained in a vehicle accident.

He retired from the U.S. Army in 1999 after 20 years of active service. He was a jumpmaster with more than 800 jumps from military aircraft and served 17 years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, which included a combat tour during the 1990 Persian Gulf War. He was a distinguished honor graduate from the Army Drill Sergeant School and served a tour in the demilitarized zone in Korea.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Gates was the son of Judith A. Gates and the late George D. Gates Sr., and was born April 9, 1961, at Fort Bragg.

He is survived by his wife, Karen M. Gates of the home in Yadkinville; four sons, Sgt. Jarrod Gates and his wife, Mary, of Colorado Springs, Colo., Cristopher Gates of Mount Airy, and Ethan Johnson and Zachary Chambers, both of Yadkinville; his mother, Judith A. Gates of Mount Airy; a grandson, Jordan D. Gates of Colorado Springs; two brothers and sisters-in-law, George and Linda Gates of Marietta, Ga., and Cris and Ronda Gates of Lowgap; and a sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Dwight Coleman of Marietta. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Thursday, April 1, at the Holy Angels Catholic Church in Mount Airy, conducted by Father Eric Kowalski.

Entombment will follow in the Skyline Memory Gardens Mausoleum. Family and friends will gather for a visitation from 7 to 9 this evening, March 31, at Moody Funeral Home of Mount Airy, with a wake service to be conducted at 8:15 p.m. by Father Kowalski. Full military graveside rites will be conducted by the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Flowers will be accepted.

(Winston-Salem Journal, Winston-Salem, NC, 31 Mar 2004, Page 4 - courtesy of Tedd Cocker)

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