Helen I. Gates, of 13 Bradley Street, Trumansburg, passed away at home on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at the age of 91 with her loving daughter at her side.

Helen was born in Eldred, Pennsylvania on February 27, 1920 to the late William and Alta (Gillmer) Goodell.  She graduated from Eldred High School.  She was active in the Sunshine Club at the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Little Genesee for many years. She developed many friendships through her involvement in the Faith Bible Church in Little Genesee. She married Clifford D Gates on Aug. 15, 1939 and they enjoyed sixty years together raising their family and enjoying retirement years in Little Genesee NY. She had lived in Trumansburg the last eight years with her daughter, Vanessa.

Helen held many jobs throughout the years. She retired from Dexter Hysol in Olean after 15 years of employment and was proud to be their first female plant worker. Her work never stopped after a day at the plant.  Her energy was boundless and she always made time for home and family. She eagerly celebrated the life events of children and grandchildren.  Family and friends all knew that the door to Helen and Cliff’s was always open for company. When company came, out came whatever the meal of the day was, and it was always accompanied by her famous baked beans, Jello with whipped cream and nuts for Cliff, her homemade cakes and her mile-high pies; and the percolator was always going.  She would, if necessary, do it all over again, if a second wave of company arrived.  She was lovingly called “Josephine The Plumber” by the family as she was not afraid to tear anything apart to make it work and all were wise to step aside when she wanted to take over a project. In quiet moments, Helen could be found crocheting or appreciating her home and surroundings.

In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford on November 14, 1999; sons, Galen Dennis on March 26, 1949 and Maurice Clair on April 10, 1994; grandsons, Jason C. Gates on December 10, 2009; and Scott Childs on August 12, 2003; sister, Louise Goodman and brother, Leon Goodell. She is survived by daughter, Vanessa G. Fey of Trumansburg;  son, Reeder D. Gates of Ithaca, and daughter-in-law, Dona Gates of Bolivar;  grandchildren, Matt Fey of Ft. Worth TX, Lauren (Peter) Dublanica of Miami FL, Joel (Heather) Fey of Mechanicville NY, Ainsley (Brady) Nunley of Ashland, MA, Erin (Mark) Smith of Cranston, RI, Wendi (Douglas) Morganti of Rochester, Holli Gates of Rochester, Shannon Wiech of Bolivar and Marc (Karen) Childs of Clearwater, FL; 18 great-grandchildren; sister, Beulah Robertson of Wellsville NY; brother-in-law Robert Tripp of Arkport NY  and many nieces and nephews.

The family will be present to receive friends from 12:00 to 1:00pm on Friday, May 6, 2011 at the Faith Bible Church, 8137 Main Street, Little Genesee, New York. A Memorial Service will begin at 1:00pm on Friday, at the church, with the Rev. Clint Pearsall officiating.

Those who wish to remember Helen in the form of a contribution are asked to kindly consider the Faith Bible Church, 8137 Main Street, Little Genesee, New York or The Calvary Baptist Church, 5 Bradley Street, Trumansburg, NY.