American Patriotic 10

Ernest Carlton Gates

January 16, 1947 ~ July 25, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Ernest Carlton "Tim" Gates Jr., 76, of Lakeland, Florida, passed away on July 25, 2023.
Tim was born on January 16, 1947, in Norwalk, OH, and was the middle child of Ernest Carlton Gates Sr. and Catharine (Fox) Gates.
Tim was a veteran of the United States Air Force. He was a well-decorated staff sergeant where he did serve during Vietnam war and was stationed all over the world during his years of service. After his honorable discharge time of service, he became an entrepreneur of sorts which allowed him to be his own boss of many different types of businesses throughout his life. He was an intelligent man who, when faced with a problem, could fix it. A daydreamer as a schoolboy, he was easily bored in the classroom, so he doodled and became an inventor of rockets, and varying types of machines. Later in life, he drew on his innate sense of how the world and the things in it worked and was called upon by many companies to find a solution to any kind of problems they were having. Coincidentally, he and Julie were both the "middle child" in their families and were part of a group or "association" of 'middle kids'. Together, they "adopted" many people along the way who had lost loved ones and needed the love of a family they couldn't find elsewhere. Tim loved everyone, no matter where they came from or where they thought they were headed. He saw the hearts of others, not their skin color, clothing, or lot in life. He was a people person and genuinely had a love for humankind. He enjoyed getting with friends or family and playing cards or games. He loved to travel and was fortunate to see the world while serving his country. He enjoyed the beach and being in the water. Tim was a devoted Tampa Bay sports fan, whether it was the Bucs, the Lightning, or the Rays. He will be greatly missed by all who had the honor of knowing him.

Tim is survived by his beloved wife of almost 17 years, Julianne Gates; Children Michael (Dawn) Gates Desiree (Tim) Lillie, Brock (Hannah) Gates, Lance (Laura) Gates, Rochelle Colton, and Melissa (Larry) Johnson; his fifteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, his brothers, Bobby (Ellen) Gates and Tommy (Pat) Gates and 3 nieces, 3 nephews, 8 great nieces, 2 great nephews, and 1 great-great nephew.
Friends and family will be received from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Saturday, August 12, 2023, at Lanier Funeral & Cremation Services, 717 Griffin Rd. Lakeland, FL 33805.A memorial service will follow at 6:00 pm. where Tim will receive military honors for his dedicated service in the US Air Force.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project or Tunnel to Towers Foundation

Online condolences can be made at

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Lanier Funeral and Cremation Services, 717 Griffin Road Lakeland, FL 33805, (863) 687-3996

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August 12, 2023

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Lanier Funeral and Cremation Services
717 Griffin Road
Lakeland, FL 33805

Memorial Service
August 12, 2023

6:00 PM
Lanier Funeral and Cremation Services
717 Griffin Road
Lakeland, FL 33805


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