In Memory

Robert "Jeff" Gates

ROBERT JEFFREY GATES (August 30, 2013)

Robert, better known as Jeff, of Chicago, IL, and formerly of Margate, FL, passed away August 30 as a result of injuries sustained in a tragic accident. He was 61. Sensitive, caring, kind, spiritual, healer, nature-lover, and a big-time jokester were some of the characteristics that made Jeff who he was. Jeff had many artistic talents including music, art, and pool. He is leaving behind a legacy in pool of the only person to create and sink 22 to 40 balls in individual pool trick shots. Each shot was with a single stroke of his cue. This was taped at Chris' Billiards, Chicago, where table #26 was dedicated to Jeff exclusively. Chris' Billiards was made famous back in 1986 where director Martin Scorsese filmed key scenes for his movie, "The Color of Money". Also, Jeff was well-known and talented for his musical ability in playing the piano/keyboard and performing with many bands in the Chicago area from the 1970's to the 1990's. He played all genres of music from rock & roll to blues & jazz. He was a natural and could play anything by ear. Entertaining people with quality music was important to him. Jeff didn't want a funeral or any "big to do" upon his death. He did love Florida, so a memorial to celebrate Jeff's life is planned in Margate, FL, on October 19 at 5 pm. Anyone interested in attending, please reply to





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09/04/13 02:24 PM #1    

Lawrence Schneider

I recall Jeff as a talented musician who, without any apparent formal training, could hear a song once and then play it on the piano, or pick up a new instrument and in a matter of moments figure out how to play it, and actually play it reasonably well. I also remember him as climbing the ropes in gym class, all the way up to the rafter beam. No one else ever climbed as high as Jeff could.  But he was also a bit crazy...walking around at recess in the winter, without a coat or shirt.


Larry Schneider

09/05/13 10:29 PM #2    

Alan Weisz

Funny......that before I read Larry's comments, those were close to exact recollections which I had as well.  I remember inviting Jeff to one of our sixth grade parties and him coming in our "uniform", white shirt and skinny tie, but had that disheveled look which was cool to me,  quirky, not quite a neat fit but someone I wanted to be associated with.  Not Knowing exactly what would happen next with Jeff and liking that.  He was an individual. I was excited to learn he had been contacted and hoped he would be at the next reunion.  Very sad he is gone.  RIP Jeff.

09/22/13 12:34 PM #3    

Arthur Lovering


This is Art Lovering.  I was a good friend of Jeff through junior high and high school and was greatly saddened by the news of his passing.  I enjoyed reading about his talents with a pool cue and most definitely his musical skill.  He had a natural ear, played several instruments, and I would see him playing gigs in several night spots in the city as well as his favorite spot, just sitting on the rocks at the Montrose Ave. lakefront with a guitar and his Myna bird on his shoulder.  He was a free spirit!!   

What wasn't mentioned was that he was also a first class artist.  I knew this first when we had art classes with Mr. Grigsby or some other teacher.  I would be sitting next to him and while I struggled to reproduce some simplistic version of a bird, dog or maybe a flower....Jeff would have created a detailed rainforest filled with tropical birds, a family portrait with several dogs, or an entire garden full of flowers.

Jeff, along with several of our classmates, was also a member of my Confirmation Class at St. John's Church on Pratt in Lincolnwood.  (lots of stories there to recall....)  

After the passing of his Mom, Jeff created the attached artwork and donated it to the church in her memory.  It is quite stunning as it portrays the Cross and as he told me the lifelines he saw on her hospital monitor. 

Rest in Peace Jeff....thanks for sharing your talents. 

Art Lovering

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