Grace Funeral Home & St. Lazarus of Bethany Memorial Garden
450 Holy Trinity Dr., Covington, LA
James Robert "Jim" Gately
Passed away on July 6, 2019
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 are being planned for a date to be announced. An online guestbook is available at www.gracenorthshore.com.