Funeral services for R. C. Cates, age 92, of Sulphur Springs will be conducted at 3:00 p.m., Thursday, May 7, 2009 at West Oaks Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Tommy Johnston, Rev. Fred Lewis and Bro. Lynn Turner officiating. Burial will follow in Sulphur Springs City Cemetery with Bill Alford, Bill Cates, Jerry Regan, Buddy Walker, Larry Moore and Charles Cromer serving as pallbearers.
Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at West Oaks Funeral Home.
Mr. Cates passed away Monday, May 4, 2009 at Carriage House Manor. He was born on March 5, 1917 to William “Billy” R. and Lemmie J. Keelin Cates in Winnsboro, Texas. They precede him in death. R.C. Cates was a member of the Sulphur Springs community since 1938. He volunteered January 1942 for the Army Air Corps training at Sheppard Field, Texas. He left Boston February 1942 and traveled on the Queen Mary around the tip of Africa all the way to Australia. Quite a trip for a country boy. Sgt. Cates served in Australia and New Guinea, and participated in Papoon and Southern Philippine Islands battles, receiving wounds in combat July, 1944, in New Guinea. The Asiatic-Pacific Medal with two Bronze Stars was awarded with Purple Heart and other awards. On December 23, 1944, while still in the military, he married Marna Williams in Sulphur Springs, Texas. She preceded him in death on January 31, 1994. After their marriage they lived in New Orleans, La while on duty and then he was discharged from Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, as a Staff Sergeant in October 1945. After Mr. Cates returned to Sulphur Springs, he owned and operated Texaco service stations for 40 years on Main Street and South Broadway. He stayed retired for about 6 months and then went back to work for various jobs. He finally retired for good, from Gober & Merrell Chevrolet at the age of 91 years and 3 months. R.C. was a member of the League Street Church of Christ.
He is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Roy McCasland of Sulphur Springs, Texas; grand-daughter Kim Folmar of Sulphur Springs, Texas; grandson Chris McCasland and wife Lana of Houston, Texas; great-grandson Chasen Folmar of Sulphur Springs, Texas; one sister Malena Butts of Whitesboro, Texas; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and special friend Mary Clark. In addition to his parents and wife, he was also preceded in death by 2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 step-brothers, and 2 step-sisters.
Family request donations be made to the Veterans Memorial or to a charity of their choice.
West Oaks Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences can be sent to www.westoaksfuneralhome.com
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