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American Veteran 04


James Kates

November 20, 1926 ~ April 16, 2018 (age 91)

James Kates, 91 of Rochester, passed away Monday, April 16, at Wyndcrest Assisted Living Facility.  Jim was born November 20, 1926, in Springfield, Illinois, the son of Peter and Jennie (Ruzes) Kates.  He married Mary E. VonDeBur on October 7, 1950 and she survives him.

Jim graduated from Springfield High School and Brown’s Business College. He served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and the Korean War.  He retired as an Assistant Vice-President after 39 years from the Franklin Life Insurance Company and he served on numerous charitable boards in Springfield, including the United Way and the Salvation Army.  He was a charter member of Christ the King Church, where he started and served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 2.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for many years.  He and his wife lived in Fairfield Glade, TN for 10 years where he served on the Parish Council as President at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. He was a member of the Church of St. Jude in Rochester until the time of his death. 

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Peter, and two of his children, Jerry and Cheryl Kates.  He is survived by his children: Donna (George) Wanless, Jim (Nancy) Kates, Mary Beth (Roger) McClintock, Rachel (Mike) Copp, all of Rochester, Steve (Kelly) Kates of Springfield, Chris (Claudia) Kates of Winston-Salem, NC, and Matt (Jan) Kates of Wheaton, IL;  grandchildren: Jennifer (Marc) Sullivan and Karen (Jeff) Montgomery; James M. Kates and Michelle (Ben) Layne; Brandon (Shannon) and Corey (Jamie) Kates; Cameron Kates; Ashley, Jason and Sarah Kates;  Andy, Matthew and Ryan McClintock; Alex and Kyra Copp; great grandchildren:  Braden, Colten and Alaina Stock; Zach Berry and Torie Kates;  Jaxson and Riley Kates; Aiden Kates; and Bryce Layne; step great-grandchildern: Zoe and Darby Sullivan, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Cremation will be accorded with burial at Calvary Cemetery with full military honors.  The family is being served by Wilson Park Funeral Homes in Rochester.  Visitation will be from 9:00 am until the time of the funeral mass at 11:00 am on Monday April 23, 2018 at the Catholic Church of St. Jude, 633 S. Walnut, Rochester.

The family would like to thank the caregivers of Between You and I, Wyndcrest Assisted Living and Memorial Home Hospice for Jim’s care.  Memorial Contributions can be made to Land of Lincoln Honor Flight or The Salvation Army of Springfield.


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