Flo was the fourth of five children, (Bernice, Bob, Neil, Wilma). At the age of 1, the family moved to Glendale, Oregon. Her mom passed away when she was 7. Homer remarried Mary Whaley, who had two children, Lettie and Ben. They had one more child together, Lynn. They lived on a farm in a log house.
Flo spoke often and fondly of her childhood, even the hard work. She graduated from Glendale High with honors. She then attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon to study education. There she met Oswald (“Ozzie”) Drexel Gates, and they were married on February 26, 1948. They had five children and lived mostly in the Seattle/Bothell area.
Flo went back to college and completed her BA and MA in education. She primarily taught first grade for the Northshore School District for over 20 years.
She had so many talents and interests: singing and playing piano and guitar, yodeling, baking (her cinnamon rolls were the best!), running a home, teaching, tutoring, going to professional sports’ games, supporting her children and grandchildren in their activities, reading and always learning new things.
After a stroke in 2014, Flo developed dementia. She was able to stay in her own home until February of this year.
Flo was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and six siblings. She is survived by her sister, Lynn Diltz; her children, Jeff (Elizabeth) Gates, Tim Gates, Mary Marshall, Terri Gates and Libby (Brian) Baarstad; her stepdaughters Doreen (Ross) Kines and Nona (Dalton) Davidson, and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Flo was kind, funny, and caring to her family and friends. We miss her so much but glad she’s home and free!
Her internment is at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in LaConnor, Wash. Services will be after the Coronavirus scare. Half of the ashes go over parents' grave at Glendale, Oregon. For more information or to leave comments visit the Chapel of the Resurrection website at www.chapel.cedarpark.org/obituaries.