Cheryl Lynn Gates, 56, of Batavia passed away on Friday October 7, 2016 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Bristol, Pennsylvania, on February 7, 1960, Cheryl was the third daughter of Ira MacDonald Gates and Irene Hogg Gates. She is survived by her father; sisters Susan J. Blanchard (Tom) of Lockport, NY, and Evalyn I. Gates (Eric Pelander) of Cleveland; nieces Kate Kleismit (Jeff) of Lockport, Anna Blanchard of Pittsburgh, PA, and Kendall Pelander of Denver, CO; nephews Greg Pelander (Shawna) of Portland, OR, and Jordan Pelander (Nicole) of Denver, CO; great-nephews Nathan Kleismit, Rowan Pelander and Cael Pelander, and great-niece Madeline Pelander.
Cheryl was a 1978 graduate of Batavia High School, and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Arizona. Following college she moved to San Francisco, California and was a research analyst for Bailard, Biehl & Kaiser, an investment firm in the city.
It is impossible to picture Cheryl without a beautiful and contagious smile on her face. As a young child she was always the first one awake in the morning - singing, dancing, and giggling as she snuck into her big sister’s room to jump on her bed. She had a wonderful mischievous streak, which she never lost, and her love of animals began before she could talk, when she snuggled her first puppy in her arms.
Throughout her life she was a caring and generous friend. She was always there if someone needed support and love; and the one to instigate fun or adventure. Her wit and ability to inject silliness when needed will be long remembered by all of her friends and family.
She was fearless in trying new ventures – whether heading across the country to live in a new city, hopping onto a surfboard or galloping across mountain trails on a horse. She loved California living and had many adventures with her friends there, driving a bright red pick-up truck to the beach, to the mountains or up into wine country. She and a friend took 3rd place in the novice category for wine-tasting in 1986 at the Greenwood Ridge Vineyards.
She returned to Batavia in 1987 when she suddenly became ill with what was eventually diagnosed as ME/CFIDS. As she struggled with the challenges of ME/CFIDS in the following years, she also fought to help others, encouraging and supporting many friends, old and new. She was a dedicated advocate for research into the causes and treatments of this illness.
She was also deeply devoted to her pets and committed to caring for all animals. In addition to the many cats and kittens she rescued, a young ferret and an injured crow were nursed back to health under her care. She will be greatly missed by her family and her many friends – human and other.
Services will be held this Saturday at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main Street, Batavia N.Y. The family will receive family and friends at the church at 1:30 p.m in the church parlor; services will begin in the Sanctuary at 2:30 p.m. and there will be a dinner and party as Cheryl requested immediately following the service at 4:00 pm at Bohn’s Restaurant, 5256 Clinton Street Road, Batavia.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Cheryl may be made to Volunteers for Animals, 3841 West Main Street Road, Batavia, NY 14020, http://www.vol4animals.org; or Solve ME/CFS Initiative, 5455 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 806, Los Angeles, CA 90036, http://solvecfs.org/donate/
To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle in Cheryl's memory, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia.