James Robert "Jim" Gately

Passed away on 6 July , 2019
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James Gately, “Jim”, of Covington, Louisiana, age 65, died unexpectedly on July 6, 2019. Born in Boston to the late Robert and Mary Gately, Jim is survived by his wife Linda and his two sons, Nathanial of Hammond, LA and Michael, of Denver, CO, three sisters, Marianne Pierson of Walpole, MA, Susan Richard and Roberta Gately of Braintree, MA, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Jim graduated from Catholic Memorial High School, joined the military, completed flight school at Ft. Rucker in Alabama, and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science Engineering degree from The University of New Orleans. If all of Jim’s interests, passions, and skills were mentioned, this would be a tome but here we go with the first page and maybe into page two of that tome. Jim loved Louisiana and all it has to offer; music, food, sailing, fishing, and it goes without saying, the people. Such glorious friends, dear friends, crazy friends. Shall we have some boudin, some crawfish, some sac au lait, maybe a po’boy? Oh yes, he relished and embraced it all. He loved New England and the family and friends residing there. Boston never left his heart and this love extended to Mount Washington Valley in New Hampshire. He loved hiking and skiing in the mountains with his sons and his cousin. He had scaled Mt. Washington and skied Tuckerman’s and was planning another go at both down the line. He LOVED the Red Sox and rarely missed watching a game even down here in Louisiana. For Jim, going to Fenway never lost its boyhood thrill. And sailing, well, everyone who knows him knew how he felt about sailing. In community boating classes, so many years ago, Jim learned to sail on the Charles River in Boston. He perfected his skills and embraced the beauty and freedom of the sport over the years both competitively and recreationally. He was never far from and never got enough time on the water. He loved sailing his latest beauty Bourré and crewing on Whiskers was always exciting and a challenge but more so, it was an absolute joy. Those in his nautical circle, and so many people at Pontchartrain Yacht Club, in Mandeville, LA were a second family to him. The yacht club is a place where he felt at home and very connected. He would never miss a Wednesday night bourré game with his buddies….NEVER! Jim loved to travel and fell in love with Tucson, AZ. Hiking in those desert mountains was a challenge and adventure and the desert beauty drew him in. So, given the freedom of retirement, a condo in Tucson was on the horizon. He loved radios, was a Ham radio operator and hoped to utilize this skill in search and rescue in the mountains of New Hampshire during extended winter stays there. He was immersed into learning the endlessly challenging game of duplicate bridge. He loved good food and sought out new culinary adventures everywhere he went. Happy hours with friends, and grilling….this was his idea of a great time. That man could grill, and his crawfish boils were legendary. Pinot Noir anyone? He was proud of his work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans and did a stint with the Corps in Fallujah, Iraq. He enjoyed being out on the worksite best, working in that capacity. He made some close enduring friendships there but was ready to leave when retirement came; cubicles were not Jim’s thing. But most of all, Jim loved to fly. This was closest to his heart, how he defined himself and how others did too. He was an amazing aviator. There are not enough words to describe what aviation meant to him. His eyes were always up, day or night. He knew where satellites were passing and when. He could (and did!) point out constellations everywhere he traveled in the world. And weather… call Jim if you questioned anything, forget about TV or apps. His military service was long and proud and this was one retirement he did not relish. He loved his Hueys until he fell in love with his Blackhawks. When retirement ended flying helicopters, he stayed as close as possible to his Hammond National Guard Unit as an instructor with the Blackhawk simulator. He loved his fellow soldiers. From Ft. Rucker to Central America, to Louisiana and all the TDY/Deployments, his skills and dedication were evident and highly valued. We all witnessed his bravery, commitment to duty, and integrity. His sons learned serious character and life lessons watching him. He was a man of honor. He was funny and loved a joke. He saw the good in most everyone, gave room to faults in others, and tried always to show others they mattered. Jim loved his family dearly, he showed it, and we are eternally grateful. Time with his sons was pure joy for him. He demonstrated how to live life with enthusiasm, curiosity, and adventure; what is meant by living to the fullest, I guess. How we all will miss that generous spirit, sense of humor, and big smile. You’re a hard act to follow Jim, but you were an excellent teacher so we’ll give it a go. A Military Funeral Honors ceremony followed by a remembrance/celebration of life gathering will be held at Pontchartrain Yacht Club, 140 Jackson Avenue, Mandeville, on Saturday, September 21, 2019 beginning at 11:30 in the morning. An online guestbook is available at


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, 21 September , 2019


James Robert "Jim" Gately

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Danette Taliancich

20 September 2019

Dear Linda Nat and Michael, Wendy called me to let me know what happened to Jim I’m so sorry for y’all lost and to hear this!!!! Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers!!! Please Linda let me know if there’s anything you need or if I can do anything please!!!!! We won’t be able to make it Saturday I’m so sorry!!!! We love y’all and will be praying for our Lord and Savior to comfort and strengthen y’all through this!!!! We loved Jim and he’ll be so missed!!! RIP my friend!!!!! Love Danette and Nana

Chuck Thomas

23 July 2019

Jim was one of the most accomplished and congenial men I've ever had the privilege to know. I will especially remember him as a team player and all around wonderful crew member on a racing sailboat. His sense of humor kept everyone at ease. My wife, Thea, joins me in extending our sincere condolences to his family.

Gudrun Klug

20 July 2019

To Linda, Nate and Michael,
I am heartbroken and so very sad. Jim was a larger -than-life figure not only in your lives, but also in the lives of all who knew him. He truly embraced life and, due to your support, was able to follow his many passions. When saying hello to Jim, even after not seeing him for a long while, it was like we just talked yesterday. Accepting that he is gone so suddenly is especially hard and will take a very long time. He will be missed so very much by all who had the luck to have known him.

Karen Harrison

19 July 2019

Linda, Nate and Michael,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Jim. The obituary was beautifully written . It captured his generous spirit definitely.
I think back to our Scout days and camping and going to the hockey games in Baton Rouge and all of the Scout projects he embraced. And yes, I remember that he always had a smile and a great sense of humor.
If there is anything we can do to assist you, please let us know.
Karen and Skip Harrison

Ell Pilie

18 July 2019

Saddened to hear this about Jim. He and I were good friends while we worked with the Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. Every time I met Jim in the hallway or at a meeting in Construction Division or in the field at a construction site, he always had a smile on his face. RIP, buddy.

Karla Clausen

17 July 2019

I live in New England so only met Jim once, about 10 years ago. I took my father to visit my son, a Navy helicopter pilot, when he was training in Pensacola, Florida. We took a long weekend and visited New Orleans where Jim and my friend Linda hosted a wonderful dinner welcoming the three of us as if we were old family friends. Jim had lots of stories and information for my son who was following a very similar military career, and they had a wonderful conversation. Jim has kept up a correspondence with my son, thinking about him and his career, helping him with questions on occasion and even sending a thoughtful gift at times. I will forever be grateful to Jim for being so kind to my Alex.

I know Jim was a good man because you can hear the love in Linda’s voice whenever she speaks about him. She is very proud of her man and she should be. I’m sorry I never got the chance to know him better.

Linda, my thoughts are with you, and your family, as always, but even more so now. Keep your chin up . . . be strong.


Eugene "Gene" Meyers

17 July 2019

To Jim Gately's family and friends, Please accept my profound sympathies on Jim's passing. It is an honor and my privilege to have known, served with and flown with Jim for many years in the Louisiana Army National Guard. May Almighty God's blessings and peace comfort you during this sorrowful time.
Eugene "Gene" Meyers
1SG, LAARNG (Ret.)

Gene & Lorraine Salois

17 July 2019

Linda, Nate & Michael,. Our hearts are aching for all of you. We are so very sorry for your loss. I will never forget the time you visited us in Florida or our dinner out in New Orleans. Jim was such a nice man. Be strong. We will keep all of you in our prayers. Love, your cousins, Gene & Lottaine

Scott Blanchard

16 July 2019

Linda, Nathanial, Michael, and the extended Gately family, I am truly so sorry for your loss. Jim was a dear friend to me and many others. We met at the US Army Corps of Engineers and became close over the years, sharing our love of flying and sailing, and maybe a few adult beverages trying to solve the world's problems. If I was having a bad day, a talk with Jim and maybe a little sailing was the best medicine. I offered by Blue Cross co-pay to him on many occasions for healing me. Jim was a kind hearted, loving soul to his family and friends. I wake up each day and have to process the fact that he is gone. My prayers to his family at this most difficult time. Clear skies and tailwinds forever my friend. Love you Jim..............