My Uncle Fred

Gates, Fred Born February 9, 1934, a resident of Torrance, CA from 1965 until his death on August 22, 2006 from a coronary heart attack. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Yolanda Gates; sons, Fred Jr. and Anthony; daughters, Loretta Perkins and Jennifer Gates; two daughter-in-laws; and one son-in-law. He has seven grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. Fred was a dramatic Tenor who sang Grand Opera from 1959 to 1975 for the American Opera Co. and the Beverly Hills Opera Co. He was a finalist in the Metropolitan Auditions for several years. In his younger days he was awarded a four year music scholarship to SC from Walt Disney. Fred is remembered by his colleagues as the most exciting Tenor in his career. Please sign the guest book at Published in the Daily Breeze on 8/27/2006.


My Uncle Fred, only about 16 months older than my mother, was a fun guy. He did have a beautiful voice – that’s for dang sure – but I think I will remember him more for his laughter, his sarcasm, his booming personality, and his loyalty. He could get angry and maybe even throw a fit, but when it came down to it, he loved us and would be there for us if we asked.

This week, at Uncle Fred’s viewing and funeral, I was able to see all the lives he either touched or had a part in bringing to this world. His children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren are living testament to a life well lived. His wife, brothers, his sister, and numerous nephews and nieces stood in honor of his life. To interact with so many who knew and loved him was amazing – and I reminder for me that I need to do a better job of keeping in touch with family so I won’t regret losing so many years……

I will miss my Uncle very much – as will my Aunt Yola and cousins Freddie, Anthony, Loretta, and Jennifer.

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