Bill J. Gates entered his heavenly home on November 17, 2018. He was born in Oswego, KS to John and Arabella (Weakly) Gates. He was raised in Radley, KS and attended Girard schools where he was a standout athlete in track and football. During his service time in the U.S. Army he was a combat engineer and he completed a tour in Korea. While competing in military competitions, he was honored for his expert marksmanship. After completing his military service, he worked as a pipefitter for the State of Kansas and later became employed with the P&M Coal Company until he retired. During his retirement he worked to restore Big Brutus. He served on the board for Big Brutus and continued to dedicate time to its promotion and upkeep until a month prior to his passing.
Bill married Deanna Rondelli on November 16, 1963. Bill is survived by his wife, daughters Sherry Rondelli of Frontenac and Terry Brown and husband Al of Collinsville, OK, his son John Gates and wife Tressie of Frontenac. He his also survived by his grandchildren Daniey Bogle, Keaton Rondelli, Conner Brown, Cori Brown, Jacob Gates and Ty Gates. Also, his great-grandsons Will Holland and Keelan Rondelli. Bill is also survived by a sister Linda Romanzi and a brother Tom Gates along with numerous nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Peg Hardy and a brother Bob Gates.
Bill’s wishes were to be cremated and a Celebration of Life Service will be held December 20, 2018 at the Homer Cole Center in Pittsburg from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Family request in lieu of flowers donations be made to Big Brutus in his name. Online condolences can be made at www.derfeltfuneralhomes.com.