Cover photo for Maricele Katherine Gates's Obituary
Maricele Katherine Gates Profile Photo

Maricele Katherine Gates

January 21, 1929 — March 14, 2019

Maricele "Mary" Gates, age 90, passed away peacefully on March 14, 2019, after a long struggle with dementia. Mary was a resident of Grayling, Michigan since 1970 and of Bradenton, Florida since 1990. Mary was born on January 21, 1929 in Albion, Michigan to G. Russell and Marian Leora Gillispie Zimmerman. She grew up in Albion and attended Albion College, where she was a music major, and where she met and married her husband, Calvin Hugh Gates, Sr. They were married on November 24, 1948. Cal predeceased Mary on December 6, 1983. Mary is survived by her children: Gena Joan Gates of Bay City, Michigan; James Calvin (Connie) Gates of Interlochen, Michigan; Thomas David Gates of Bradenton, Florida; Jody Lynn (Craig) Hinkle of Grayling, Michigan, and Janelle Marian (Scott) Norman of Frederic, Michigan. She leaves nine grandchildren: Dan Einheuser, Lani Waters, Paul Gates, Amy Martella, Josh Hinkle, Josey Hinkle, Jake Hinkle, Ryan Weiss and Brett Weiss, and two great-grandchildren, Andrew Waters and Evan Waters, and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister Joan Zimmerman Paule of Gainesville, Florida. And Mary leaves behind her dear friends Ann and Vincent Manzella of Bradenton, Florida. In addition to her husband Cal and her parents, Mary was predeceased by her son Calvin Hugh "Rusty" Gates, Jr. and her brother Jack Russell Zimmerman. During the early years of their marriage, Mary taught piano lessons and worked as an organist in local churches, while Cal served as band director in schools in Pinconning, Bay City and Oscoda, Michigan. In 1970, a small motel and restaurant went up for sale in Grayling on the Main Branch of the AuSable River. Mary and Cal pulled together all the assets they could find in order to buy the business. It became known as Gates AuSable Lodge. Mary ran the kitchen and did nearly all of the cooking and baking, while Cal ran the fishing side of the business. All of their children worked in the business for a time. Together, Mary and Cal built the business into a fly fishing mecca for Northern Michigan. After Cal's death in 1983, Mary formed a partnership with her son Rusty to keep the business running and growing. After Rusty married, he bought the Lodge from Mary with his wife Julie. Rusty continued to operate the Lodge until his death in 2009. After Mary sold the Lodge to Rusty, she moved to Bradenton, Florida, where she and Cal had purchased a winter home. She continued to return to Grayling every summer, to spend time with family and friends. Mary took up golf and became passionate about the game, playing nearly daily for many years. Mary also enjoyed traveling the world and took many escorted tours. Perhaps her favorite was a tour of the Mediterranean coast of Europe with her daughter Janelle. Mary will be cremated, per her wishes, and her ashes will join those of Cal and Rusty in the AuSable River. A memorial service will be held on May 11, 2019 at 12:00 noon at Michelson Memorial United Methodist Church, with visitation beginning at 11:00 a.m. The family asks that those planning to attend let them know by email to Those wishing to offer a memorial gift in memory of Mary are asked to consider Anglers of the AuSable or Compassus Hospice of West Branch. Arrangements entrusted to Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maricele Katherine Gates, please visit our flower store.


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