Horace “Hoddy” Gates, Jr., 81, of Central City, died February 2, 2019 after a long illness. Surviving him are his wife of 61 years, Mary Ann; their three children, Cindy, Allan, and Don; several siblings; grandchildren; and numeral in-laws of all stripes.
Hoddy was born in Cedar Rapids. He graduated from McKinley High School, and met Mary Ann when they were 13 years old and in 7th grade. After high school, they were married in 1957 and began their family in 1959. Hoddy attained his electrical license and began his own electrical company, Hoddy Gates Electric, in 1973.
Hoddy and Mary Ann moved to rural Linn County in 1974, beginning with the purchase of 16 acres and grew to nearly 300. Hoddy was an environmentalist, hunter and fisherman and an avid Hawkeye fan. He taught his children the connections between nature and people, and continued his love of the land by planting over 75,000 trees on the property. He began mushroom hunting and catfishing as a youngster, which continued through his lifetime. Hoddy placed a conservation easement of the property and it will be protected in perpetuity by Linn County Conservation and Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.
Hoddy had a wicked sense of humor and was the life of any party. He was a generous, kind hearted, and helped numerous people get a start in life. He and Mary Ann enjoyed traveling and experienced many of the natural wonders on their trips through the United States, and spent many winters going to bowl games when the Hawks traveled south. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Hoddy requested no services, but suggested that all have a drink in his honor! In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorial contributions be made to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation: 505 5th Avenue #444, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Please indicate the donation is a memorial for Hoddy Gates, and the protection of his beloved trees.