Dr. Edward S. Gates, 92, of Rockaway Township, died on Oct. 29, 2016.
Born in 1924 in a Model T Ford while his parents were awaiting a ferry boat to a New York hospital, he made front page news in the newspapers. He remained an antique car enthusiast his entire life.
Raised in North Bergen, he attended University of California-Berkley and graduated from Illinois College of Optometry in 1950. He served in the US Navy from 1943 to 1946. He established an optometric practice in Dover and later in Succasunna.
He was President of the Tri-County Optometric Society, as well as being honored by the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians with the prestigious Nurock Award for distinguished dedication to the profession of optometry. He served on the New Jersey State Board of Optometry. At age 65, he obtained his certificate as a therapeutic optometrist. He improved many lives by improving the eyesight of his patients.
Gates was the founding President of Temple Shalom of Succasunna, the first reform Jewish Congregation in Western Morris County. He was honored by the Temple and remained on the Board as an active member for more than 50 years.
Gates served on the Roxbury Township Committee from 1973 to 1976. He also served on the Roxbury Board of Education, the Planning Board and the Board of Adjustment. He was President of the Dover Lions Club.
Dr. Gates was predeceased by his wife of 57 years, Florence, in 2003 and by his son Victor Bobby Gates and daughter Bari Gates. He is survived by his son Marshall (Linda) of Succasunna and Bruce (Carol) of Milburn and daughter-in-law Linda Mandel Gates of Glen Ridge.
He is also survived by six grandchildren: Andrea Gates and Brad Davis, Jennifer Gates, Jeff and Lisa Gates, Benjamin, Evan, and Marilyn Gates. He was proud of his three great-grandchildren.
He enjoyed storytelling, sports, and politics. He spent his final days watching the World Series and voting by mail. He attended his grandson’s wedding only two weeks ago, and was able to see many friends and relatives.
Donations in memory of Dr. Gates may be sent to Temple Shalom or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (https://www.michaeljfox.org/).