Coral Lee Gates, Age :94
Oct 26,1925---Oct 14,2020

Coral Gates was born in October 1925, on a depression-era farm outside Baxter Springs, MO.  Both parents passes away before her second birthday, but then fate smiled upon her.  She was adopted by a couple in Atchison, KS where she was to grow up.   In 1942 our national focus was World War II and Coral moved to San Diego.  She took a job as a electric street car operator.  Then in 1943 she relocated to Kansas City where she was hired for the war effort.  She learned to assemble and rivet B-25 Mitchell bombers in the Fairfax area of KCK.  Later she moved with her parents to Concordia, KS.  She worked as a switchboard operator at POW Camp Concordia—a German prisoner of war camp run by the U.S Army until May, 1945. When the war ended the camp was turned into a community recreational facility.  The POW mess building was converted into a dance hallwhere Big-Band era swing dances were held.
Ithe summer of 1948 a returning servicemanMilford Gates, asked Coral to dance with him and soon a romance blossomed. On December 2, 1950 Coral and Milford were pronounced Man and Wife.  During that decade the couple had lived in different small communities to accommodate Milford’s work.  By 1959 they had produced a family with 3 children—Rick, Candee, and Rod.  Coral always enjoyed learning new skills.  At the time she was one of the few women that had children and worked outside the home. Coral and Milford came to Kansas City and found roots.  Her 4th child, Teri, was born in Independence, MO and then the 5th & 6th—Ron and Carmen were given life in Kansas City, KS. Coral and Milford enjoyed swimming, so they encouraged her kids to swim and exercise with them at the local YMCA.   Soon she was employed as the aquatics training instructor with the YMCA staff.  Her children had priority in Coral’s life, so she also worked as a school crossing guard where her children attended classes.  As the children grew up and left home, Coral and Milford relished in retirement.  The couple travelled to Europethe Middle East, and all across ourUnited States.  They decided to move to the Raytown area and made it home. She became involved with a local churchin Raytown.  Coral joined the church and its choir.  She enjoyed singing with its members and loved her many friends there.  She had several surprising talents.  She was an artist who loved to paint.  In younger years she played the organ, she swam, water skied, ballroom danced, roller skated and ice skatedand camped.  In March 2002 tragedy struck when her beloved husband Milford was killed in an accident at their home.  She now lives with him again.  

During her time on earth, Coral loved her family and friends dearly.  She gave each of them a part of her that lives on.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00a.m. Monday, October 19, 2020 at the Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia Street, Lenexa, Kansas.


Faye VanLandingham Oct 18 ,2020

Coral & I sat side by side in choir for a few years in Kansas City, Kansas at Bethel Baptist Church. Over time I shared many special moments with her and the family. She holds a special place in my heart and mind. Her passing saddens me greatly. ,Cemaes Bay, Anglesey....United Kingdom ,Indiana

I no longer live in the United States but I read the K.C. Star paper online everyday. This announcement re: The Gates family and their loss brings me sorrow. I have tried unsuccessfully several times to reach Cora Lee and Carmen via Facebook...emails, etc. to no avail. So I hope they know that I am with them in spirit during this sorrowful time. God's richest blessings on all of you. Faye VanLandingham

Bob and Karen Yunghans Oct 18 ,2020

Friend ,Kansas City ,Kansas

Bob and I are so sorry to hear this sad news. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Rick Gates Oct 18 ,2020

Son ,Anchorage ,Alaska

Dear Fay Van Landingham, Thank you for your kind thoughts and remembrances of our mother. You may contact the Gates Family via Facebook: Camille Gates or email:

Lawrence & Jennifer Mock Oct 18 ,2020

Friends ,Anchorage ,Alaska

Our heartfelt condolences to all of your Family. May God bless you and comfort you during this time of loss.

Ron and Linda Godwin Oct 18 ,2020

Niece ,Sequim ,Washington

To the family of Coral Lee. We will miss her so very much. After my mom passed away I felt like she had stepped into her shoes. We enjoyed our visits back in Kansas so much with her and I have lots of fond memories of her as I was growing up. There was actually lots of things I didn’t know about her. She did love her Husband and Family very much. She was very close to my Mom and Dad and they had such a good time traveling together to Hawaii. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family who are my cousins and their families. Love Ron and Linda

Sam (Samantha) & Kevin Scott Oct 18 ,2020

Great-great-great niece

Aunt Corky, as I’ll always remember her, was one of a kind. She always had spunk and grit, and I loved being with her, especially after her sister Inez (my great-grandma) passed away. They had very different lives but were so similar and I loved having the reminders of Gram. Aunt Corky’s faith was strong and I’m comforted knowing she is with Jesus. I look forward to seeing her there.

Georgetta (George) Keith Oct 18 ,2020

Friend ,Raytown ,Missouri

I loved Coral Lee so much, along with everyone who knew her. She was a dear friend that I sang with in choir. What a wonderful obituary & what a life well lived! There’s no doubt that she is with her beloved husband. She missed him so very much! She was always excited when she was headed to Alaska! God bless you all.

Scott Warburton Oct 18 ,2020

Son of Ian Chapman, Candee's husband

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Funeral Service
Porter Funeral Home
8535 Monrovia
Zip Code:
Oct 19 ,2020
11:00 AM
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