December 7, 1947 – July 21, 2013
Bruce Lee Gateley passed away Sunday, July 21, 2013 in Vancouver, Washington, from heart failure due to complications of diabetes. Bruce was born in Portland, Oregon on December 7, 1947 to Quentin Hudson Gateley and Geraldine (Baird) Gateley. In 1949 the family moved to Olympia, Washington where he was raised and attended local schools. Bruce graduated from Olympia High School in 1966. He attended The University of Washington for one year. He joined the Army in 1967 and served for two years and received an honorable discharge in April 3 1970, where he was trained as a sharpshooter and received a National Defense Medal. Bruce then settled in Vancouver, Washington where he worked and attended Clark College and graduated on June 11, 1982, with an Associate of Arts in General Studies. Durng that time period he served as President of the student body. He was hired in 1976 as a school administrator for the Vancouver School District and retired after 30 years at 59. During that time he served at his alma mater as the President of Clark College Alumni Association. Bruce has enjoyed his retirement by water skiing with his boat with his friends and using his jeep to camp out in the surrounding areas with his best friend. He loved collecting cars that he would fix up. He also was a fantastic gardener and created beautiful garden in his back yard with ponds with fish, a mini castle and several decks added on to his house. Bruce loved life and had a brilliant mind and was constantly learning everything new that he could. Bruce was predeceased by his father, Quentin Hudson Gateley in 2008. He is survived by his mother, Geri B. Gateley, who lives in Olympia in the family home. She is 90 years old. He is also survived by his older sister, Sue Gateley Justen of Paris, France; his younger sister, Ann Gateley Lynch and his brother-in-law, N. Joseph Lynch of Olympia, Washington; and his best friend of 35 years, Carmen Eastman and her husband of Vancouver, Washington. Bruce loved his family and friends, and since his passing was such a loss and surprise, the hole in our hearts is huge. His family loved him and will miss him so much. A funeral will be on Saturday, the 27th of July 2013 at 3:00p.m. in the chapel of Mills & Mills on 5725 Littlerock Rd SW in Tumwater, Washington with a reception following after the service.
- Funeral Service Saturday, July 27, 2013
- Committal Service Tuesday, July 30, 2013
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August 11, 2013
The first time I met Bruce was 1966. I was walking home from the school bus stop. It was pouring down rain. Bruce was driving a delivery truck for the grocery store. He stopped and asked if I wanted a ride home. I was shy and told him no thank you. He didn't give up and the next thing I knew we were madly in love with each other. Life happened and we grew apart. Two years ago we fell in love again and were going to spend the rest of our lives together. I have loved Bruce for 47 years and will for the rest of my life. Rest in peace my love.
July 29, 2013
Bruce was a new client for me and I was just getting to know him. My co-workers and I liked him enormously and I last spoke with him on the 17th of July. He reminded me how much fun being in love was. He was a happy man, and I am grateful to have met him. Kim W. Fred Meyers Jewelers, Vancouver Mall.
July 27, 2013
Bruce was the greatest best friend anyone could ask for. He was one of the smartest men I ever knew and just as kind. The adventures and memories we shared will be a part of my life forever. I will miss him greatly......Carmen
July 26, 2013
I can't believe it. It can't be true. I remember so well when we were kids. I remember last e-mails I exchanged with Bruce last year. I hurt for you, Aunt Geri and for you Sue and Annie. I wish I could fly long trips but I can't or I'd be there. Michelynn thought about coming and shares my feelings of loss for you all. You know you are in our thoughts as is Bruce.
July 25, 2013
Thinking of you and praying for you all.
July 25, 2013
July 24, 2013
Aunt Gerri, Sue, Ann and Joe,
I am so sorry for your loss. I look at Bruce's picture and see reflections of my mom and all the Baird's. I am praying for all of you.
I have read and re-read all the cards you have sent to my Mom at the nursing home, it meant a lot to her.
Please let me know if there's anything I can do.