|Anchorage resident WILLIAM R. GATES II, 88, died Jan. 11, 2003, at Providence Extended Care.
A celebration of life will be at noon today at the Buckaroo Club.
He was born July 6, 1914, in Flint, Mich. He grew up near Flint on his father's farm, attended the University of Michigan and served in the Michigan National Guard.
He first came to Alaska in 1939 and worked in Southeast and the Aleutians. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in the South Pacific during World War II, leaving the service with the rank of major in 1946.
In 1948, he returned to the Aleutians, working on the construction of the Adak Naval Air Station. In 1956, he moved to Anchorage, where he was project electrical superintendent for Morrison Knudsen during the construction of the White Alice Project, with communication sites throughout Alaska. He left Anchorage in 1967 to travel and work in Puerto Rico and Okinawa. He also spent two years in Saudi Arabia.
After his return to Alaska in 1979, he lived in Anchorage and worked as a journeyman wireman until his retirement in 1995.
His family said that he survived six airplane wrecks in Alaska.
He was active in various Lions Clubs for more than 50 years and was past president of the Mount McKinley Lions Club. He was a retired member of IBEW Local 1547 and he was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He spent several years of his retirement enjoying his home on Caswell Lake with his wife, Linda.
Two older sisters, Geraldine Souza and Dorothy Sims, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Gates of Anchorage; sons, Jeff Gates of Bend, Ore., Bill Gates of Anchorage and John Gates of Tumwater, Wash.; stepson, Lance Starr of Anchorage; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Providence Extended Care Facility.
Arrangements were made by Witzleben Family Funeral Homes.