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Obituaries » Marion M. Gates

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June 17, 1923 - August 31, 2022

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Marion McIntosh (née Thompson) Gates of Solomons, Maryland, died on August 31 at the home of her daughter in Vicksburg, Michigan, having celebrated her 99th birthday with family and friends just ten weeks before. She was born in 1923 to Alice E. French Thompson and the Rev. Frank W. Thompson, and grew up with her two younger sisters in the Manse at Bedford, Massachusetts, where her father was longtime pastor of the Congregational Church.  She was a graduate of Lexington High School, and received degrees from Wellesley College and the graduate School of Nursing at Yale University.  In 1950 she traveled to Sidon, Lebanon, to join her fiancé J. Edward Gates, whom she had met in New Haven.  After their August 31st wedding, both served as teachers in Presbyterian mission schools, where their students were children of both local residents and Palestinian refugees.  They returned to the U.S. in the fall of 1952.  In subsequent years three children were born to the couple. The family lived in Bedford, Springfield and Wilbraham, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Toronto, Ontario; and Terre Haute, Indiana.  Through the years, in addition to raising her three children, Marion served as a psychiatric nurse in a V.A. hospital, a school nurse, and a teaching assistant at the Indiana State University School of Nursing.  She maintained a lifelong interest in cartography and was a passionate advocate of environmental responsibility.  In 1972 Marion was a founding organizer of Terre Haute’s first recycling center.  In 1991, after living for a year in Regensburg, Germany where Edward was a Fulbright scholar, Marion and Edward retired to Ware, Massachusetts. There, they enjoyed their lakeside home and devoted themselves to church, the local historical society, activities of the Friends of the Quabbin Reservoir, and various civic duties.  They traveled globally with the Lighthouse Society, and pursued an interest in the history and culture of Shaker communities.  In 2006 they moved to the Asbury retirement community in Solomons, Maryland.  Following Edward’s death on Christmas Eve 2015, Marion continued to be an active member of the Asbury community, participating in religious life, the “green team,” and enjoying the company of a wide circle of friends. Marion Gates is survived by her three children: Beth Code (Bob) of Vicksburg, Michigan; Will Gates (Tara) of St. Mary’s City, Maryland; and Alan Gates (Tricia Harvey) of Boston, Massachusetts; by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; by her younger sisters Ruth Marsh of Geneva, Illinois, and Jean Witherill of Belfast, Maine; her brother-in-law David Gates (Martha) of Haymarket, Virginia, and sister-in-law Anne Paxton of Cedar Falls, Iowa. Arrangements for a memorial service in Solomons and interment in Bedford are pending.  At Marion’s request, memorial donations may be directed to the Southern Poverty Law Center or to the Asbury-Solomons Benevolent Care Fund .