Irene H. Gates of Batavia passed away on Tuesday (April 21, 2015) at United Memorial Hospital. Born in Worthington, Pennsylvania, Irene was the third child and second daughter of Hamilton Smith Hogg and Bertha Bundy Hogg. Her father owned the Buffalo Valley Dairy farm, and her family still loves to collect old milk bottles from the dairy. She is survived by her husband of more than 58 years, Ira M. Gates; brother Frank Hogg (Martha) of Kittanning, PA; daughters Susan J. Blanchard (Tom) of Lockport, NY, Evalyn I. Gates (Eric Pelander) of Cleveland, Ohio, and Cheryl L. Gates of Batavia; grandchildren Kate Kleismit (Jeff) of Lockport, Anna Blanchard of Pittsburgh, PA, Greg Pelander (Shawna) of Portland, OR, Jordan Pelander (Nicole) of Los Angeles, CA, and Kendall Pelander of Chicago, IL; great-grandson Nathan Kleismit; and many nieces and nephews.
Irene was an intrepid adventurer and traveler – she had been to all 50 states in the U.S. as well as to countries around the globe including Russia, Peru, Scotland, Ireland, and a trip through the Panama Canal. She would take off at a moment’s notice to visit family and friends whether across town or across the country. Each spring she traveled with family and friend to Jekyll Island, Georgia, where she enjoyed golf and long walks on the beach. Part of her travels were for her work on the genealogy of her family, as well for many other families who called upon her expertise in tracing their roots. She was a long-time member of the Genesee County Genealogical Society and was co-author of a commissioned book for the Paolo Busti Cultural Foundation on the genealogy of Batavia’s Italian community, The Legacy of Italian-American Families in Genesee County, New York.
A talented seamstress, Irene enjoyed making beautiful and unique clothes for herself and her family, and the Halloween costumes she created for her daughters won many prizes. She was an avid and expert bridge player, and was a member of many bridge and duplicate bridge clubs. An avid reader, she spent hours at Batavia’s Richmond Memorial library, and she enjoyed playing the piano for her own enjoyment. Summers would find her on the golf course at the Stafford Country Club, where she and her husband were members for many years.
Irene was a dedicated leader in the volunteer community, serving on the board of Genesee Memorial Hospital, chairing the Annual Gala of the Genesee Memorial Hospital League in the 1970’s, and leading the local chapter of the Girl Scouts as well as serving as chair of the annual cookie sale. She was a Deacon of the First Presbyterian Church and active in the youth program when her children were young.
An energetic and loving grandmother, she enjoyed many adventures with her grandchildren, teaching them how to find shark’s teeth, sharing stories of her youth and taking them to pick many buckets of blueberries.
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 3:00 p.m in the church parlor; services will begin in the Sanctuary at 4:00 p.m. and there will be a supper in the church Fellowship Hall immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Irene may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, of Batavia; the David & Ilene Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 659, Rochester, NY 14642; or the Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia, N.Y. 14020.
To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com
Arrangements for Mrs. Gates are being handled by the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia.