Clifton L. Gates, 86, Gouverneur
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 6:24 pm

Clifton L. Gates, age 86, of Gouverneur, passed away on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at his home under the loving care of his family and Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley.

Calling hours will be on Saturday, December 15, 2012 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at French Funeral Home, Gouverneur. The funeral service will be private for the family. Burial will be at the Gates Family Cemetery at Hickory Lake. Online condolences may be made to

Clifton L. Gates was born on June 3, 1926 in Macomb, to the late Carl and Clara (Campbell) Gates. He graduated from Gouverneur High School in 1943. He married Edna M. Macaulay on September 7, 1948 in Depeyster, with the late Rev. Daisy Harvey officiating.

Clifton worked for 16 years at Gouverneur Talc as a lab technician. In 1967 he left the talc industry and started full time as a cattle buyer for a large company that shipped bovine stock to many overseas markets. He also formed a partnership as Walton and Gates in used machinery. Together Clifton and his wife Edna operated a family farm and also operated a bull rental business and raised heifers until they were unable to do so because of health. He also served as Supervisor for the Town of Fowler.

Clifton was always interested in sports. He formerly played basketball, baseball, and boxing and was responsible for the formation of the Pine Hill Chiefs softball team. He was an avid collector and researcher in the minerals of the area, having worked for geologists and is a contributing member of the St. Lawrence County Rock and Mineral Club. He is a valued member of the Gouverneur VFW Dad’s Post #80 and held many offices within the organization. He enjoyed outdoor activities and loved to travel.

Surviving besides his wife of Gouverneur is a daughter and her husband, Elizabeth J. and Richard Washburn of Macomb; three sons, Dr. Stephen R. Gates and his companion Flemming Behrendt of Nantes, France, Jeffrey F. and his wife Comer Gates of Chester, CT and Wayne C. and his wife Carla Gates of Macomb; a daughter-in-law, Eveline Gates of Lafayette; and 11 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Clifton was predeceased by a son, Lewis C. Gates who died in 2001; and two brothers Gilbert and Melvin Gates.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Clifton’s memory to Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Hwy. 11, Potsdam, NY 13676 or to the Macomb Community Wesleyan Church Building Fund, 15 Co. Rt. 7, Gouverneur, NY 13642.