Tom Gates, 1943-2013


Tom Gates, a leader in the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC),  died at his home along the Mohawk River in Springfield, Oregon, July 2. He was 69.

Tom GatesGates had a 35-year postal career. He was a past president of NALC Branch 916 in Eugene, and served as education director for the Oregon State Association of Letter Carriers.

Thomas Eugene Gates was born Dec. 5, 1943, in Corvallis, Oregon. A graduate of North Eugene High School, Gates served in the U.S. Navy from 1961-1963. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1970 from the University of Oregon, where he later earned his master’s degree in business administration.

Prior to working for the Post Office, Gates was a supervisor for Ore-Ida Foods in the early 1970s.

Gates was hired as a letter carrier  in 1978.

“Tom was a great NALC leader/ mentor/ advocate, a generous and caring friend, a successful rancher, and a stubborn crusader for justice for those unjustly treated,” said Mary Martinez, Region 2 national business agent’s lead assistant for the NALC.

Gates is survived by his wife, Jan, of 33 years;  daughter Kristine Johnson of Tigard, Oregon; son, Jeff; three grandchildren; and brother William Gates of Eugene. His son, Randy Dix, pre-deceased him.

A memorial service and pig roast were held July 14 at his ranch outside Springfield.

Donations may be made in memory of Gates in care of NALC Branch 916 at: NALC Branch 916, 931 River Road, Eugene, Oregon 97404.


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