Jack Wendell Kates, Sr.

4 November , 194029 July , 2019

WEST COLUMBIA – Jack Wendell Kates, Sr., 78, was born November 4, 1940 in Greenville, TN and passed away on Monday, July 29, 2019. He was the son of the late Juanita Banks and Charlie Willard Kates. Mr. Kates founded Water Systems, Inc., of West Columbia, 35 years ago. He was very well known in the environmental services industry and loved interacting with his customers and colleagues. He loved spending time with his grandkids and enjoyed racing, RV’ing and bluegrass music. Mr. Kates is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sandra Davis Kates of West Columbia; daughter, Linda M. Boatwright of Batesburg; son, Jack “Jay” W. Kates, Jr. of Columbia; grandchildren, Carson Boatwright, Kendall Boatwright, Emma Smith, Ethan Kates, Ellie Kates and sister, Carolyn Maiden of Greensboro, NC. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, West Columbia Chapel, with entombment to follow in Southland Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to WEASC Capital District Scholarship, PO Box 2255, Lexington, SC 29071.


  • WEASC Capital District Scholarship


  • Visitation Wednesday, 31 July , 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, 1 August , 2019
  • Entombment Thursday, 1 August , 2019


Jack Wendell Kates, Sr.

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Robert Britts

3 August 2019

Jack Kates hired me as a water/waste water operator in the Summer of 1999. He showed me the ropes and took me around to the sites that needed checking. I learned a lot in a brief time with him. Over the years, I have interacted with his son, Jay Kates regarding small water and waste water systems in rural South Carolina, Thanks Jack.

Bob Britts, Lexington SC

Glenda Swearingen

3 August 2019

I met Jack over 30 years ago, in the early days of Capitol District functions and Operator Conferences (when Jay was a youngster, running around the Exhibit Hall room). He always had a kind smile for everyone and a patient tone when helping to educate folks concerning environmental issues. He was a mentor to many and will be missed.

Yvonne Mulherin

2 August 2019

I met Mr. Kates through the WEASC. He was always appreciative of the smallest bit of help. He was a joy to talk to and work with over the phone and in person. I always enjoyed seeing him at workshops and meetings. My heart goes out to Ms. Sandra and his family at this time of loss.

Lee Bailey

1 August 2019

Rest in peace Jack.

jimmy Strunk

1 August 2019

many fond memories of Jack and the family ,had the pleasure of working with and knowing him for 18 years ,always a smile and and time to chat .will be missed for sure