Richard Marvin “Dick” Gattes , age 72, of Deerfield Michigan, unexpectedly passed away at Toledo Hospital on July 1st 2019 after a short illness. Dick was the second child of seven born to the late Lowell and Cecil (Diver) Gattes. He was born October 10, 1946 in Toledo, Ohio. After graduating from Bedford High School in 1964, Dick was drafted into the United States Army where he served 2 Years in Vietnam. Dick worked for several different companies in the foundry industry. He retired from Woodsage Industries in Holland, Ohio in 2011. “THE DICK” as all of his close friends called him, loved spending time with his family and friends. He had an especially close and caring bond with his sister Ruth, whom Dick cherished. As an avid snowmobiler for many years he and his wife Jan owned a beautiful cabin in Mancelona, Michigan. They also spent and made wonderful memories with great friends and family at Marble Lake in Quincy, Michigan. Dick was a very active man. He loved riding just about anything with 4-wheels, driving his souped-up golf cart around the neighboring farm fields and friends’ homes to make sure he knew what was “Going on.” Dick will forever be remembered in the area for being a founder of “Petersburg Haydays” from 1993 through 2000. Providing his property to friends initially, then strangers, Dick helped to create a grass drag racing strip in his field on Stull Road for “grassdrags” of snowmobiles on the first Saturday in November. Friends will remember Dick’s “Green Weenie” and his great friend Butch Iott’s “Pink Panther” racing sled. What started as a simple race between friends evolved into groups of hundreds of people joining together for fun, food, fellowship… and beer. Dick loved the outdoors, including hunting, gardening, and tending to his yard in which he took great pride. The Dick was a true “Fix-it” man. He could build and/or repair just about anything, and was most happy offering a helping hand to his friends and neighbors. An exceptional woodworker, Dick loved making beautiful furniture, walking canes and his last project he completed was a gorgeous fireplace mantle and surround in his home. Dick was a best friend, supporter, giver, a lover of all people, especially friends and family. He was wise beyond his years, kind, comforting and compassionate. Infamous for his quick wit, with an “I’ll tell you what…” Dick could tell you “How it is” with a fabulous smile. He was known by lady friends for picking them up off the ground with a GREAT BIG HUG when they were lucky. He was a mentor to many and a lady’s man for sure, such a genuine gentleman and caregiver. Dick was loved and will be truly missed by all. We will also forever miss his favorite saying, “Jan... Now Jan…” To cherish his memories, Dick leaves his loving wife and best friend of 36 years, Janet “Now… Jan” Gattes, daughter, Megan (Mike) Berry of Arizona, Step-daughter Monica Hurst, Brothers, Lowell “Sonny” (Jan) Gattes and Stacy Gattes, sisters Ruth (Al) Old, Lois (Gary) Cooper, Beverly (Gerald) Smith, Linda Jones, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and his 4 legged companion Stormie. Cremation has taken place with J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home, Adrian, Michigan. A Celebration of Dick’s Life and dinner will be held August 24th 2019 from 4 - 7pm at his home in Deerfield, Michigan. Contributions in Dick’s honor can be made to the Deerfield American Legion or the Petersburg VFW Post 6509.
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American Legion - Deerfield
105 W River St., Deerfield MI 49238
VFW Post 6509 - Petersburg
3977 Sylvania-Petersburg Rd., Petersburg MI 49270