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Journal

November
21
2019

November 21, 2019

Friends and family,

Steve died peacefully last night, with us all by his side and showering him with love. He passed with the same grace with which he lived, no doubt on his way to a perfect wave waiting for him.

While it's hard to imagine a world where we don't wish for more time with our wonderful Steve, our hearts are full in knowing that we will be honoring his life in so many ways and we feel grateful that he was let in on some of those plans over the past couple of months.

We'd like to invite you to join us for an open house to celebrate Steve this Sunday, from 1-4pm at Ginny and Steve's house. We'll raise a glass to toast to the exceptional spirit that Steve shared with all of us and that we have the privilege of carrying forward. We have also established a Steve Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund with the Hood River County Education Foundation, where donations in lieu of flowers will be welcomed. If you would like to contribute, details are below.

We'll leave you today with this photo of Steve, courtesy of his good friend Rountree. Smiling that big Steve smile and radiating his limitless warmth and joy.

With love,
Ginny, Erin and Jodie

In the spirit of Steve's giving nature and values of education and community service, we have established a scholarship fund to assist deserving Hood River Valley High School students with college expenses. If you wish to contribute to the Steve Gates Memorial Scholarship Fund, checks can be made out and sent to the HRCEF, 1011 Eugene St, Hood River, OR 97031. Please include Steve's name in the check memo to make sure it gets to the right place.


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Comments

  • Camilla Seifert : A few days ago David and I were driving along Turnagain Arm in 40 - plus gusts, watching the ”liquid smoke” out at the wind line. It’s November, no snow, no ice floes. I said to Dave: in the old days you and Steve and Ralph would have gone out in that. Someone, likely Steve, would phone: It’s BLH! We miss you, Steve. Love, Dave and Camilla
    11/28/19
  • Sue Sutherland : Jody, Erin and Ginny, So sorry to miss the open house , I’m out of town at the moment, but I’m there in spirit. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop, your writing is beautiful Jody. Sending lots of love to the Gates family
    11/24/19
  • Stefan Bennett : I first met Steve when I first visited the Gorge in 1987, then worked at Big Winds/Front Street in the early 90’s after moving to Oregon. I hadn’t seen much of Steve in recent years, but when I did he always had a smile and good humor... he will always be a part of my life’s experience, I won’t forget him. My most heartfelt feelings go out to his family and close friends, may his memory bring you solace.
    11/24/19
  • Jackie Butzen : Dear Ginny, Erin, & Jodie; I’ve known Steve as a fellow Windsurfing (watersports) dealer for over 30 years. When I met him, although he had a serious business side, his infectious smile and sincere warmth always made me feel important like we were long time friends, We only saw each other at “trade shows” and my annual trip to the Gorge, conversing about business, our mutual love of everything water, and family, he was so proud of his family that his smile would get even broader. Yet, I feel as though I’ve lost a best friend. His kind and loving spirit is forever with you.
    11/23/19
  • Joe Robertson : Steve was truly one of my heroes--and I don't have many. He lived his life with such grace and caring. He had a smile for everyone and time for everyone. He was focused on others, not himself. He inspired me with every interaction. He handled his illness in the same manner that he approached his life--positive but realistic. My hope is to carry a bit of his spirit with me in hopes that I can be "more like Steve."
    11/22/19
  • Kathleen Moore : Ginny, Jodie, and Erin, Though not unexpected, we are sorry to have heard Steve has died. We are in Arizona so will not be there for a toast . In lieu of this, we will do a hike on Sunday from 1-4 in memory of Steve. He truly was an amazing , exceptionally great man and human being. Kathy Moore and Jim Haynes
    11/22/19
  • Roxanne McClure : Steve beat us to the finish line and again, he did it with grace and encouragement. Now, he is on to the next level where I'm sure he continues to shine brightly. We are left inspired, tear stained and grateful for his imprint on our lives. Ginny, Erin, Jodie, you are beautiful reflections of a life well lived and loved. So thankful for each of you. Prayers for strength, peace and wisdom as you carry on.
    11/22/19
  • Jennifer Morrow : I have to say that I have never "been involved" in the process of losing someone so close. You, Gates family, have expressed such admirable sincerity, truthfulness, and a love and integrity for your extended friends and family by allowing us all to be a part of this journey with you. I thank you for that--with all my heart. I love you all and will miss you deeply, Steve.
    11/22/19
  • Rainy LaVenture : Jodie, Erin, and Ginny, I just wanted to say how sorry I am. After rescuing my mom from a ski accident and my sister from a car accident, we all thought of Steve as our family's personal guardian angel! His smile could light up a room, and his laugh was infectious. He cared so deeply for his family, his friends, and his town - he was always looking for ways to give back. Creating a scholarship in his name is such a wonderful way to honor him. Thinking of you all with love.
    11/22/19
  • Al Paterson : Aloha Ginny, Erin and Jodie. I hope you all know the huge impact Steve made on everyone he met. He was a true gentleman, a fierce competitor, a passionately proud husband, parent and grandfather, and a fabulous friend. He will be missed by everyone he crossed paths with and Kay and I will always be grateful for his friendship, his valuable counsel, and his enormous smile. You and all the Gates Ohana are all very much in our thoughts.
    11/22/19
  • Lora Melkonian : Dearest Ginny, Jodie, Erin and family, It's hard to put down in words the heavy loss... I am so sorry that Steve was taken so soon. I am just grateful that his passing was peaceful and that there was time to tell him how much he is loved. His legacy will live on, and Steve will continue to inspire. I love the picture of Steve getting ready to go on the water, I have so many memories of him looking just like that. I send you my heartfelt love ❤️ and wish you strength at this difficult time.
    11/22/19
  • Bill Morrissey : Ginny, Erin and Jodie, with's Steve's passing we'll miss a true gentleman, businessman, sportsman and mentor. I consider it an honor to have know him all these years. I put him in the rare company of the few totally respected (in every aspect of life) people I've had the pleasure of calling a "friend". Sending my sincere condolences.
    11/21/19
  • Matt Sweeting : Gates Family am thinking of you all and sending you lots of love. Steve will be deeply missed every moment of everyday, but his spirit will live on within all of us in all the great memories and stories that he left us with. With love.
    11/21/19
  • Daryl Stafford : Ginny, Erin, Jodie and the rest of the Gates clan, I’m sending you lots of love ❤️. My heart is heavy for your loss, however at the same time full of gratefulness knowing that I had the good fortune to have Steve , and all of you, in my life.
    11/21/19
  • Clay Feeter : speechless ... stunned. It just does not seem possible that there can be a world without Steve Gates. We all know in our hearts that there will never be a world without Steve. Because he touched our souls and he motivated the next generation with positive go-for-it Mojo!!! We will always remember that Steve Gates we-can-see-it-from-a-mile-away smile (beautiful photo of Steve, Tree!) Jodie, you couldn’t have put it better than to say “we have the privilege of carrying forward.” Steve was the leader of an entire generation. Jodie, Erin and Ginny, sending you my love. -Clay
    11/21/19
  • Clay Feeter : speechless ... stunned. It just does not seem possible that there can be a world without Steve Gates. We all know in our hearts that there will never be a world without Steve. Because he touched our souls and he motivated the next generation with positive go-for-it Mojo!!! We will always remember Steve’s you can see from-a-mile-away smile (beautiful photo of Steve, Tree!) Jodie, you couldn’t have put it better than to say “we have the privilege of carrying forward.” Steve was the leader of an entire generation. Jodie, Erin and Ginny, sending you my love. -Clay
    11/21/19
  • Joel Yang : Thank you Steve for all of your love and support. Stoke on the Water exists because of you. May memories of you live on in everyone's hearts and stories forever. Rest in peace Steve - you have my utmost respect. Sending much love and strength to the Gates family.
    11/21/19
  • Christie Smith : My heart breaks for you and all of us who have known Steve. A beautiful spirit gone but never forgotten. Love and healing thoughts surround you.
    11/21/19
  • Mark Ames : Dear Ginny, Erin and Jodie, I'm so sorry to hear this news and am sending a huge hug to you all. This picture of Steve heading to the water, gear in hand with that huge smile beaming in the sunshine, perfectly captures just one of so many examples of his infectious spirit and energy. I'll always fondly remember and dearly miss him!
    11/21/19
  • Lisa Willis Wiltsie : So sad to hear this today. I will always think of Steve with that great big beautiful smile and that amazing infectious laugh! Truly one of the kindest human beings I have ever met. Such a great loss for this community. Love to you all.
    11/21/19
  • Cindy Walbridge : Broken heart today for losing such a wonderful friend and human being.
    11/21/19
  • Steve Rarig : I'll be catching a few waves in Steve's memory today....with a big smile as he always had while riding along that beautiful glassy face. Peace and love to all the family.
    11/21/19
  • Paige Rouse : I’m so, so sorry Ginny, Erin and Jodie. You certainly all shined every step of this journey. We will miss him very much and honor him in as many ways we can. I left the office for a walk as soon as heard. Almost to the Event Site to shed some tears.
    11/21/19
  • Kym & Mark Zanmiller : We are so very sorry we will be there on Sunday to give hugs, do you need us to bring anything? Love Kym
    11/21/19
  • Nancy Roach : Love to you all.
    11/21/19