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Cameron Merton Gates

May 23, 1922 - November 18, 2021

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Cameron Merton Gates

It is with great sadness to inform that Cameron Merton Gates left his mortal world on November 18, 2021, at 10:58 a.m. at Freedom Square Skilled Nursing in Seminole, FL, where he had been a resident for a few short months. Cameron M. Gates achieved the wondrous age of 99, blessed with a strong, healthy existence, living on his own, up till his last two years.  Cameron Merton Gates was predeceased by his father, Lester Gates; his beloved mother, Lena Piche Gates Lynch; and his brother, Clayton. Cameron M. Gates is survived by his sister, Thelma Gates Findlay, of Kanata, Ontario, Canada; a son, Les Gates, of Ogdensburg, NY; a daughter, Valerie Gates (Larry) Puccia, of Fort Myers, FL; a daughter, Sharon Gates (Eric) Paongo, of Clearwater, FL; several grandchildren, Justin Gates, Kory Gates, Kaya Paongo, and Kamata Paongo; two great-grandchildren, Elijah McDonald and Nikayla Lemeuix; and, of course, his best friend and buddy, Sadie.

Cameron was born on May 23, 1922 in Ottawa, Canada.

Cameron was formerly married to Doreen Weatherdon.

His mind, body, and energy forever lived in the ’20s era.

His small stature but strong conviction allowed him a life full of many challenges and experiences. He joined the Canadian Forces during WWII and then transferred to the American Allies. He survived Normandy, the 2nd landing. CM Gates continued and became a sergeant within the Allied Transport Department, continuing until the “lights turned back on in Berlin.”

He returned to Ottawa, Canada where he was employed by the Atomic Energy of Canada during discovery of the cobalt machine. He moonlighted at night working for Texaco, for Greyhound Bus Lines, and as night manager of dispatch at Charlie’s, Ottawa’s local hotel and jazz bar.

Cameron was also one of the first “pace car” drivers for NASCAR during the 1950s. His avid love for the roar of the engine was growing to become a pit crew member for the United States driver, Buck Holiday, “C38.” Many weekend jaunts were made into the United States for races.

Cameron knew everything about cars and was always on the move!

Upon legal relocation with his family to Ogdensburg, NY in 1962, CM Gates was employed by Thomas Black & Sons, a wholesale distributor of camping equipment that supplied the first expeditions on Mt. Everest for Sir Edmund Hillary.  Cameron was also the president of the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad during the early 1960s. Cameron remained in Upstate New York for 12 years and relocated to St. Petersburg, Florida where he was employed by The Don CeSar in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. He retired after more than 20 years.

Music was always a big part of his soul. Not just hearing it… but playing it… feeling it… living it!

A little guy with big ideas! Cam will forever now rest in peace. Family members were present at his passing.

There will be no calling hours, at Cameron’s request.

Donations can be made in his name to: Suncoast Hospice, A Member of Empath Health, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, Florida 33760.

A tribute page for your photos and memories will be available in the coming days at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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