Mr. Lyman J. Gates of Sparta, Michigan, age 87, passed away on the morning of Tuesday, March 1, 2016, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family. Lyman was born to Edgar and Carrie (Johnson) Gates on Tuesday, June 5, 1928, in Muskegon, Michigan, but grew up on 16 Mile Road on a farm that has been in the family since 1915. He attended the one-room Burchville School. Lyman was always a hard worker– he husked corn with his father as a child, worked for Wolverine Worldwide as a teenager, and for thirty-six years had a career at Rapistan until his retirement. At home he was a skilled woodworker, crafting furniture for Joan, made from the Oak trees on their property. Lyman was a great Michigan outdoorsman. He loved to go fishing and would spend hours in the boat on Big Bay de Noc. He also loved hunting in “God’s Country;” the beautiful Upper Peninsula. Lyman is survived by his beloved wife Joan Gates; children, Curtis (Valeri) Gates, Christine (Jay) Schoeppe, and Bryan Gates; grandchildren, Justin (Megan) Gates, Kirk (Lindsi) Gates, Kylah (Ryan) Sullivan, Brooke (James) Wiles, Kelli (Dan) Erb, Elizabeth (Derek) Sall, Cameron Gates; eight great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Jeanne Cullum; brothers-in-law, Phillip and Tom Odren; numerous nieces, nephew, and other beloved members of the Gates and Odren families. He was preceded in death by his son, Steven Gates; daughter-in-law, Kathi Gates; parents, Edger and Carrie Gates; father and mother-in-law, Don and Julie Odren; brother, Ivan Gates; brothers-in-law, Charles, Calvin, and Don Odren. There will be a time of visitation from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, March 4, 2016 at Pederson Funeral Home, 127 N. Monroe Street NE, Rockford, MI 49341. The funeral service for Lyman will be celebrated at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Pederson Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior to the funeral. Lyman will be laid to rest in Solon Township Cemetery. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution in lieu of flowers to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Michigan Chapter, 549 Ottawa Ave NW #307, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home