In Memory

Gary Bates



Gary Wallace Bates
1949 ~ 2020

Gary Wallace Bates passed away peacefully May 6, 2020 at the Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, Utah. He was born January 24, 1949, in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah to Elda Mae Zufelt and Wallace Walter Bates. When Gary was ten years old the family moved from Heber City to Salt Lake City.

Following graduation from Skyline High School, Gary enlisted in the Utah National Guard. Following basic training, Gary attended the University of Utah. He married Janice Waldvogel, December 18, 1971. Gary and Jan had one son, Justin Randall Bates of Herriman, Utah. They were later divorced.

Along with a career in the Army National Guard, Gary worked for many years as a corrections officer at the Utah State Prison. During his military career, Gary received many honors, achieved the rank of SFC and became a green beret and a jump master in the 19th Airborne Special Forces. He was involved in military assignments in many places of the world.

Gary is survived by his son Justin (wife, Jennifer), a grand-daughter (Angelina Bates), his father (Wallace Bates) and two sisters (Connie Homer and Pamela Langlois).

Graveside services will be held Thursday, May 14, 2020, at Utah Veterans Memorial Park in Bluffdale, UT.
The family wishes to express gratitude for the many caregivers and friends of Gary at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, Utah.

 Published in Deseret News on May 14, 2020

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06/17/20 01:03 PM #1    

Alan Orlob

Gary and I went on active duty together and stayed together through basic training, advanced infantry training, jump school and phase one of the Special Forces qualification course. It was nice to have someone from my school to commiserate with during a lot of hard times in training. I have such good memories of Gary and  i was saddened to read of Gary's passing.  His keen sense of humor and his calm personality will certainly be missed. 

06/18/20 12:09 AM #2    

Walt Hanni

Gary was one of my best friends all during high school and college.  We were quite close we took turns driving each other to school.  He had an old MGB ( i think that is correct ) at any rate it was a fun little sports car.  I drove my Dads 1961 Willy's Utility Wagon, the old white Jeep. I drove when it snowed and he took the dry roads.   We had stage crew together for the first two classes for three years.  We spent a lot of time building the back stage supports for the different plays setting up the lighting etc.  One day we were up in the rafters above the auditorium at lunch.  It seems someone was having a smoke after lunch.  Unknown to those involved the smell of the cigarettes was caught up in the ventilation system and distributed .. mr Middleton and someone else came up looking for the perpetrators.  They stopped  6' feet from us on the main walkway and began talking about expelling those ---------.  We were out of site in our lunch room cubby hole right next to the main walkway listening to them expound on how to catch those envolved.  To this day I am glad they didn't and never did figure it out.

  We spent a lot of time hunting particularly bow hunting for deer.  We would go for a week at a time and spend most of the season ( 3 weeks ) chasing big bucks out by Flaming Gorge.  The fishing was out standing as well. One memorable trip Bryant Furness ( also an avid bow hunter) myself and Gary and  Rex Johnson were hunting.  We had all left camp before daylight and all of us returned mid morning to camp except Gary.  Bryant brought in a big snake he had killed.. he got the idea of playing a trick on Gary.  He coiled  up that snake and put it under Gary's hat in the back seat on the floor of a 51 Buick 2 door.  Gary hated snakes big time.  Eventually he got around to looking for his hat .  When he picked the hat up he let out a yell and jumped back out of that car hitting his head on the door jam.  It scared him good and when Bryant started laughing Gary was going to get him.  The only thing I will say is lucky Bryant was on the cross county running team and was faster than Gary.  If he could of caught him it would of been ugly.  

   I could go on and on.  I am sad we drifted apart after i moved to Alaska after graduating from college in 1971.  He was a good friend fun to be with.  His common sense fun personality made him top notch. I have no doubt we will meet again.  I dont think we ever did anything the good lord wouldn't forgive us for.    See you down the road  your pal Walt Hanni.


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