Obituary of Muriel Gates

A celebration of Muriel's life will take place on Satruday, October 6th, 2018 at 11:00AM at Immanuel Lutheran (5782 Lawrence Rd. Everson) followed by a reception. A graveside committal will be held the same day at 3:00PM at Greenacres Memorial Park (5700 NW Dr. Ferndale).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Muriel's name to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Cancer Center. (3301 Squalicum Pkwy. Bellingham, WA 98225)

Muriel Alice Gates’ Life Story


Muriel Alice Gates was delivered by her aunt at her family’s home on the Hemmi Road on April 13, 1930. Named after her hard working and determined mother Alice, Muriel spent her childhood working and playing on the family farm with her siblings Milton, Violet and Rodney. Muriel’s father, Elmer, often referred to his daughter as his “Little Tweet.”


Muriel and her siblings walked to and from Forest Grove “One Room” Elementary, located near Noon and Central Roads, and when it closed, they attended Ten Mile K-8 School. Muriel attended and later graduated from Bellingham High School (1948).


A few years later, Muriel met and wed Conan, a Navy Airman, after courting merely a few weeks. They said their vows at the Everett Court House and began 68 years of marriage. Conan and Muriel lived in Burien and later Bellingham when Conan began working for Georgia Pacific Pulp Mill. In 1955 they moved to the county on the Allison Road. It was there that they raised their three children, whom Muriel is survived by: son Duane and wife Beth (children are Jen and Matthew), son Ken and wife Connie (children are Becky, Kenny, Abby and Jared), and daughter Maryann and husband Leroy (children are Kristen, Kaitlin, Karin, Kyla and Kendra). Their romance never faded, and those who were close to them say they not only completed each other but that they inspired others’ marriages with their tender love, steadfast commitment and doting gifts.


Muriel always enjoyed spending time with her large family, especially her husband Conan, her three children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, 6 great-great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She warmly volunteered with her friends at church, worked as a cook at Carol’s Coffee Cup, played cards and games with both family and friends (especially enjoying winning), grew and canned her own produce (often sharing it with family and friends when they visited), and cultivated a gorgeous Dahlia collection from her flower garden. Throughout her life, she loved to travel, enjoying many road trips with Conan. Staying healthy was also important to Muriel; she camped, fished and later regularly walked with Conan, often visiting Whatcom Falls Park and the Marina.


We will remember Muriel as generous, wise, thoughtful, competitive and beloved by all. We thank the Lord for her wonderful life and for the gift of time with such a woman.


Please send memorials to Bellingham Cancer Center, linked above.