John Henry "Honey" Gates born April 5, 1930 in LaGrange GA to John Robert Gates and Cleophus Robinson Gates; slept away peacefully after a yearlong illness July 25, 2019. John grew up in the Mount Zion community of LaGrange and was a 1948 graduate of East Depot High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1952 serving two years and upon his discharge moved to Dayton, OH. John married Willie Ruth Bonner also from LaGrange in 1956 and to this union was born three children: Robert Darnell Gates, Karen Denise Gates Ferguson and Gregory Douglas Gates. He began working at Cheerheart Cleaners, as a Manager from 1957 to 1966 and purchased his first dry cleaners in 1966 called “Your Cleaners”, located at Hoover and Anna in Dayton. John later returned to Cheerheart as Production Manager and was responsible for 23 stores. In 1980 he bought Ardmore Dry Cleaners and worked until retirement in 2003. Deacon John Gates is a 56-year member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 27 N. Gettysburg Ave. where his Funeral Services will be held, Dr. Jamison Hunter, officiant. John is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, William Henry Gates, Aletha Gates, Anna Lois Green and Cleophus Long; son, Robert Darnell Gates. He leaves to cherish his memory his loving and devoted wife of 62 years Willie Ruth Gates; daughter, Karen Gates Ferguson of Columbus OH; son, Gregory (Tiffany) Gates of Columbus, OH; 4 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Virginia (Carl) Island of Dayton, OH, Betty Heard of LaGrange, GA; brothers-in-law, Edward (Jean) Bonner of Lithonia, GA, Roger Bonner (Patricia) of LaGrange, GA; cousin Bennie (Vicia) Gates; special friends Charles King, William Clemons, George Wilson, Herman Coleman, Edward Love, John Smith and Ronnie Moreland; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.
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