James (Jim) R. Gates of Maumelle, transitioned into a new life on February 15, 2021. He was born to William C. Gates and Mae S. Gates on May 21, 1941 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He spent his childhood years in Tulsa and graduated from Central High School. He greatly enjoyed his summers with his family at their vacation home in Cedar Crest Community, where he developed his lifelong love of swimming and water skiing. He was an avid water skier and perfected his trick jump skills on Fort Gibson Lake.
In 1964 he received his business degree from Oklahoma State University and was a fraternity member of Kappa Alpha. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Shortly after, he met and married his loving wife of 55 years, Judy Graves. They started their family while living in Tulsa, welcoming two daughters, Janece and Julia. Jim was a dedicated employee of Shelter Insurance Company, a career that led him to North Little Rock, Arkansas in 1975. He retired in 2006 and continued to serve as a volunteer for Maumelle Senior Center, The Stewpot, Meals on Wheels and tutoring children through Encouragers at Pine Forest Elementary School. Jim was a devout Christian and a devoted member of the United Methodist Church.
Jim will be remembered for his ever-present smile, his warm, thoughtful, considerate nature and his example of living a life of service to others. He was a loving husband, father and Granddad.
Jim is survived by his devoted wife Judy; children Janece Gates Hiegel, of Little Rock and Julia Gates Bonar, of Frisco, Texas; grandchildren Madeline, Claire, and Lily Hiegel, Reed and Aubrey Bonar; brother Fred Gates (Sharlyn) of Williamston, Michigan; sisters Harriet Mason of Houston, Texas, Areta Heard (Charles) of Prescott, Arizona. He is predeceased by his parents, William and Mae Gates.
We are most grateful to Maumelle Companion Care, Cheri and Tim Lipscomb, Megan Lipscomb, Sheena McDaniel and Shanica Hartly for the love and wonderful care they gave Jim. They provided our family with the invaluable gifts of comfort and peace, with the reassurance of knowing that Jim was so well cared for when he was no longer able to be cared for at home.
A graveside service for the family will be at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.
To send flowers to James' family, please visit our floral store.