Joel S. Gates Jr.
Joel S. Gates Jr. passed away at his home on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. He was born in Superior on March 20, 1920, the son of Joel and Bertha (Wolvin) Gates. In 1949, he married Emily Tonsberg, and they had two children, Stephen and Chrisanne. Joel...
Joel S. Gates Jr. passed away at his home on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008.
He was born in Superior on March 20, 1920, the son of Joel and Bertha (Wolvin) Gates. In 1949, he married Emily Tonsberg, and they had two children, Stephen and Chrisanne.
Joel served as captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Gates' career as a banker with National Bank of Commerce spanned 53 years. He was first hired in 1946 and worked in several different capacities until being named bank president in 1970. He held that position until his retirement in 1986. As a director, he was first elected to the board in 1959, and later served as chairman from 1986 to 1996. Under the leadership of Gates, NBC grew and prospered.
Some of the highlights of his tenure include purchasing the Poplar State Bank and its branch in Solon Springs in 1972; building the current NBC-Superior building at 1127 Tower Ave. in 1980; creating a holding company, NATCOM Bancshares in 1998; and laying the groundwork for NBC-Duluth. After 40 years as a director, he retired from the Board of Directors in 1999 and was named director emeritus.
Joel Gates was extremely active in community service. He served on boards for the YMCA, the University of Wisconsin-Superior Foundation, the Superior Memorial Hospital and Superior Water, Light, and Power. For the YMCA, he chaired several drives as well as serving as president. Gates served terms as Chamber of Commerce president and United Way Division chairman. He also was a member of the American Legion and served in many capacities at First (now United) Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Gates received many awards during his life, including Boss of the Year (Superior Jaycees), Business Man of the Year and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Superior Curling Club, where he won many city bonspiels and championships.
Joel was preceded in death by his wife, Emily; son, Stephen; and brothers, Irvin and Wilder.
He is survived by his daughter, Chrisanne; sister, Caroline; nephews and nieces; and many other relatives and friends.
The funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at the United Presbyterian Church, Superior, with the Rev. Joel Huenemann officiating. There will be no visitation.
Active pallbearers will be Irvin Gates, Philip Ainsworth, David Ainsworth, Richard Yule, H. Edward Girzi and Robert Trauba. Honorary pallbearers will be Wayne Moser and Roderic Campbell.
Burial will be in the Nemadji Cemetery, Superior, where military rites will be accorded by the combined Henry F. Stein VFW Post 1091 and the Richard I. Bong American Legion Post 435.
Should friends desire, memorial gifts may be made to the United Presbyterian Church or the Animal Rescue Federation of Superior.
Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N. 19th St., is assisting the family with arrangements.