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Friday, May 6, 2011

Helen I. Gates, of 13 Bradley St., Trumansburg, NY

TRUMANSBURG, NY – Helen I. Gates, of 13 Bradley St., Trumansburg, passed away at home on Tuesday (May 3, 2011) at the age of 91, with her loving daughter at her side.

Helen was born in Eldred, Pa., on Feb. 27, 1920, to the late William and Alta Gillmer Goodell. She graduated from Eldred High School.

She was active in the Sunshine Club at the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Little Genesee, N.Y., for many years. She developed many friendships through her involvement in the Faith Bible Church in Little Genesee.

She married Clifford D. Gates on Aug. 15, 1939, and they enjoyed 60 years together, raising their family and enjoying retirement years in Little Genesee. She had lived in Trumansburg the last eight years with her daughter, Vanessa.

Helen held many jobs throughout the years. She retired from Dexter Hysol in Olean after 15 years of employment and was proud to be its first female plant worker. Her work never stopped after a day at the plant. Her energy was boundless and she always made time for home and family. She eagerly celebrated the life events of children and grandchildren.

Family and friends all knew that the door to Helen and Cliff's was always open for company. When company came, out came whatever the meal of the day was, and it was always accompanied by her famous baked beans, Jell-O with whipped cream and nuts for Cliff, her homemade cakes and her mile-high pies; and the percolator was always going. She would, if necessary, do it all over again, if a second wave of company arrived. She was lovingly called "Josephine The Plumber" by the family as she was not afraid to tear anything apart to make it work and all were wise to step aside when she wanted to take over a project. In quiet moments, Helen could be found crocheting or appreciating her home and surroundings.

In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford, on Nov. 14, 1999; sons, Galen Dennis on March 26, 1949, and Maurice Clair on April 10, 1994; grandsons, Jason C. Gates on Dec. 10, 2009, and Scott Childs on Aug. 12, 2003; a sister, Louise Goodman; and a brother, Leon Goodell.

She is survived by a daughter, Vanessa G. Fey of Trumansburg; a son, Reeder D. Gates of Ithaca; a daughter-in-law, Dona Gates of Bolivar; grandchildren, Matt Fey of Fort Worth, Texas, Lauren (Peter) Dublanica of Miami, Joel (Heather) Fey of Mechanicville, Ainsley (Brady) Nunley of Ashland, Mass., Erin (Mark) Smith of Cranston, R.I., Wendi (Douglas) Morganti of Rochester, Holli Gates of Rochester, Shannon Wiech of Bolivar and Marc (Karen) Childs of Clearwater, Fla.; 18 great-grandchildren; a sister, Beulah Robertson of Wellsville; a brother-in-law, Robert Tripp of Arkport; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will be present to receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday (May 6, 2011) at the Faith Bible Church, 8137 Main St., Little Genesee. A memorial service will begin at 1 p.m. Friday, at the church, with the Rev. Clint Pearsall officiating.

Those who wish to remember Helen in the form of a contribution are asked to kindly consider the Faith Bible Church, 8137 Main St., Little Genesee, NY, or The Calvary Baptist Church, 5 Bradley St., Trumansburg, NY.

The family is being assisted by the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg, NY.

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