Gary Bates of Warrensburg, New York, formerly of Riverhead, died at home on May 17, 2018 after a long illness.
He was born in Johnsburg, N.Y. on June 27, 1937 to Glenn and Mildred (Stewart) Bates. He attended a one-room school house in Garnet Lake, N.Y. until the family moved to Warrensburg, N.Y. where he graduated from high school in 1955.
He worked in the Grand Union where he met Claire Culver and they were married in 1957. He joined the Air Force in 1957 and was stationed in Roswell, New Mexico. He returned to Warrensburg in 1961 before moving to Riverhead in 1963 to work for Grumman Aerospace, where he was employed for 30 years. In 1998, when he retired, Gary and Claire returned to Warrensburg.
Gary was an avid motorcyclist who enjoyed riding cross-country on more than one occasion with his wife until his illness prevented him from riding. Gary loved to hunt and was a proud member of the NRA.
In addition to his wife of more than 60 years, he is survived by his children: Lois (Gary) Dinizio, Brenda (Edward) Reeve and Richard (Anne) Bates all of Riverhead; by eight grandchildren, Matthew (Katie) Dinizio, Stephanie (Kenny) Woychuk, Mandi (Brian) Carmichael, Melanie (Mike) Drozd, Adam (Alexandria) Reeve, Amy (Tim) Selock, Michelle (Nick) Monighan, Deborah (Matt) Suprina; and by 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 Monighan. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy (Allen) Edmunds, a sister-in-law, Elaine Jeffords of Queensbury, an aunt, Barbara Stewart of Ticonderoga and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family will receive visitors on Monday, May 21 at Alexander Funeral Home from 1 to 3 p.m. with a celebration of Gary’s life to follow.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 26 at Riverhead United Methodist Church at 1:30 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to Warrensburg EMS.