George Albert Gates, age 74, of Village of Loch Lloyd, Missouri, entered into eternal rest on September 1, 2016. George was born on the family farm in Grant City, Missouri, on January 6, 1942, to Paul S. and Cornelia (Duncan) Gates.
George’s love for animals and passion for nature were evident from an early age. He took great pride in the family’s livestock and became a great steward of the land. As a budding entrepreneur, he encouraged people in northwest Missouri to appreciate the enrichment brought forth from native warm season prairie grasses.
George went to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he pledged Beta Theta Pi. During the rigors of college life, there was a turning point which he forever credited his fellow Beta brothers for helping him to ultimately earn a degree in Veterinary Medicine.
Shortly thereafter, he founded Prairie Village Animal Hospital and compassionately provided care for the pets of multiple generations of clients.
In 1968, he met the love of his life, Pamela Ann Olivero, and they enjoyed a marvelous 48-year marriage, raising three sons. In fact, George always said that his greatest accomplishment in life was helping his wife raise “three fine boys,” Mike, John, and Jimmy.
He had a knack for encouraging people to do their very best, seeing potential in everyone, and finding a way to inspire a confidence that they may not have otherwise realized. He was always coaching or participating in the various sporting activities and bringing his family up to know a father’s loving care, which was taught by his parents and grandparents, who raised their children in a Christian home.
In 1996, George and Pam opened Land of Paws with their partners, Mark and Patty Daly. From a very young age, George was a student of animal behavior, and he later used his talents counseling “puppy parents” and helping bring new furry four legged family members into homes. The methods conveyed in his book, “A Dog in Hand,” are tried and true ways for helping dog owners recognize the importance of calming a dog’s anxiety through touch.
When he was not working at the clinic, he spent much of his time in the riding arena or on the trail with dear friends at the Saddle & Sirloin Club. His love of people and animals continued to grow exponentially as he was working on being the world’s greatest Cowboy Grandpa.
George retired on July 22. Five days later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the pain, he persevered, spending as much time as possible with family and friends. At the time of his passing, George was surrounded by family and those who loved him greatly.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Cornelia Gates. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Pam, and his three sons, Michael (Diana), Overland Park, KS.; John (Carolyn), Mission Hills, KS.; and, Jim (Emily), Overland Park, KS., and seven grandchildren, Thomas, Emily, Jack, Elizabeth, George, Lauren, and Lucy. His brother Paul (Trill) Gates, Anchorage, AK; Judy Hansen Gates, Bettendorf, IA; Pat (Gary) Brown, Hamilton, Mo and many nieces and nephews.
The family will hold a visitation from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 6, at Church of the Resurrection. Following a private, family burial, there will be a Celebration of Life at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 7, at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Cancer Society P.O. Box 22478 Oklahoma City, OK 73123 and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas 9720 West 87th St., Overland Park, KS 66222.