Major Richard Wayne Gates, USA, Ret.

major richard gates, usa, ret.
Major Richard Wayne Gates, US Army retired, passed away on July 7, 2022. He was born on October 22, 1943 in Houston, Texas to Henry, a paint salesman, and Julia Gates. Growing up with his two brothers, Milton and Larry, and surrounded by extended family, he excelled at baseball and always had a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. In 1961 he enlisted in the Army and married his first, wife, Susan. They had four sons, Richard Jr., Timothy, John and Danny. He once bought his sons combat boots because their tennis shoes wore out too quickly, to the boys’ delight. Starting his Army career as a dental assistant, he was accepted for Officer Training School and was commissioned as an officer in August 1965. He served in Vietnam from September 1966 to July 1967 as an artillery officer and field artillery surveyor, earning the Bronze Star, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars and an Air Medal. His family heard many times his stories involving elephants and large snakes, and he had hundreds of slides of colorful Vietnam sunsets and sunrises. Over his 20-year military career, he also served as a Pershing missile maintenance officer, cannon fire specialist and intelligence analyst, and his military travels included tours in Alaska, Italy, Germany and Hawaii. His additional medals included the Meritorious Service Medal and Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaves. He retired from the Army in June of 1981 in the rank of Major. He met his wife, Pat (Patsy), while stationed at Ft Hood, Texas. They were married on August 13, 1973. Although they could never agree on whether it was a Monday or Friday the 13th (it was a Monday), they agreed her daughters, Lori and Patti, distracted the proceedings in the office of the Justice of the Peace. They were nearly inseparable for 49 years of marriage, together raising their blended family and their son, Matthew. Their children will cherish the memories of Saturday night family sing-alongs, volksmarches through the German countryside, and dressing up for Easter photos only to skip church in favor of a day at the beach. In addition to his military career, Richard was proud of his years as a football official, working his way to referee and umpire for Division 5A and 4A Texas high school football. He was also a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and member of Solomon Lodge #822, Forget Me Not Lodge #896, Army Lodge#1105, National Sojourners, and the Heroes of ‘76. He was an avid collector of stamps, coins, baseball cards, coin banks and many other things throughout his life. He will be remembered and missed by Patsy, his wife of 49 years, as well as his brother, Larry and his wife Aurora; his children Richard Jr., Timothy and his wife Jeannie, John and his wife Elaine, Danny, Lori and her husband Justin, Patti and her husband James, and Matthew; daughter-in-law Jenni; his grand-children Erica, Brittany, Bryce, Ryan, Paige, Blake, Chloe, Katelyn, Wylie, David, Katy, Nick, Madeline, Charlotte, Libby, Shayla and Joshua; great-grandchildren Bennett, Lorelei, Cadence, Parker, Emma, Arya, Hazel, Kaycee, Kayden, Emile, Beatrice, Teddy, Bella, and Leo; and a great-great grandson, Phillip. A burial service will be held at Ft Sam Houston Cemetery, Shelter #4, in San Antonio, Texas, on August 2, 2022 at 945 a.m.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ Lux Funeral Home & Cremation Services

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle