OXFORD — Robert M. Gates, 83, of Oxford, died peacefully on Monday, August 12, in the comfort of his home with his loving family at his side. He was the son of the late Alexander and Olga (Asnabrygg) Gates.
Born in Worcester, Robert was raised and educated in Auburn. He attended Auburn High School, after which he enlisted in the United States Army in 1952 and served his country proudly. Upon his discharge from active duty in California, Robert chose to stay in the San Diego area before returning to Massachusetts. Upon his return to the Worcester Area, he purchased land and built a home in Charlton where he enjoyed living for many years. Always a hard worker, Robert began a career as a civil engineer working for Taylor Engineering. Later, he put his welding skills to use and enjoyed a 19-year career at Armor Porter in Grafton and also dedicated 17 years at All Steel in North Grafton until his retirement in 1999.
In his younger days, Robert truly enjoyed riding his motorcycle any chance he could. As time went on, he found new enjoyment in woodworking and gardening. These new interests brought him much peace and enjoyment. Robert became more comfortable with computers, which allowed him to devote much of his free time in retirement researching his family’s genealogy. He was very proud of the long list of ancestors he was able to gather and document. It was during this time that he developed a passion for reading and technology. His family will always remember his dedicated interests in their lives growing up, cherishing the many times spent with him, and most of all, his always present willingness to help them.
Robert is survived by his children, Debra Prunier and her husband Norman of Oxford, Robin Metcalf and her husband Paul of Oxford, Mark Gates and his wife Caroline of Shrewsbury; their mother, Vivian L. (Cusson) Gates; four grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his three sisters, Dorothy Buzzell, Margaret Anderson, and Elizabeth Winkelmann.
Honoring Roberts wishes, services will be held privately with the assistance of Britton-Wallace Funeral Home, 91 Central Street, Auburn. His family wishes to thank Central MA Hospice and all of their staff for their care, compassion and kindness. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to VNA of Southern Worcester County, 191 Pakachoag Street, Auburn, MA 01501.