Joseph S. Gates was born on January 18, 1935 in Des Moines, Iowa to Leslie Dean Gates and Ella Wheeler Hicks. He passed away on December 6, 2022 in Salt Lake City.
Joe was born the youngest of three children and spent most of his childhood in Park Ridge, Illinois, attending Maine Township High School where he played baseball. He studied geology and engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, graduating in 1956. He then took a job with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Denver, where he worked until he entered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1958 he moved to Salt Lake City to take a job in groundwater at the USGS. He met his wife, Connee Clemens, through the Wasatch Mountain Club and they married in 1964. Shortly thereafter, he accepted a job with USGS in Cairo, Egypt where he and Connee lived for two years. After the birth of their daughter, Jennifer, they moved to Tucson, where their second daughter, Karin, was born and Joe earned a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology at the University of Arizona. Joe then joined the USGS in El Paso, Texas. In 1977 he was transferred to the Salt Lake City office of the USGS, where he worked until his retirement in 1994.
Joe loved skiing, hiking, traveling and taking his six grandchildren and friends on rock hunting expeditions. A life-long dog lover, he had many faithful four-legged friends. He loved listening to classical music and was a frequent attendee of the Utah Symphony. He was known for his quiet nature and his clever wit. He and Connee were founding members of the South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society in Cottonwood Heights. Joe taught geology classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and was a volunteer lecturer at the Snowbird Resort on the geology of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife Connee, who died in 2020. He is survived by his daughters, Jennifer Gates Gourary (John) and Karin Gates Johnson (Brooke), his six grandchildren, Kaileigh, Justin, Bennett, Julia, Ashton and Walker, two nieces and four nephews.
A graveside service and reception for Joe will be held on Saturday, January 14 at 2:00 p.m. at Memorial Mountain View Cemetery, 3115 E. Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, Utah. In lieu of flowers, you might consider a donation to the Natural History Museum of Utah or the Huntsman Cancer Center in Joe’s honor.Service Information
January 14, 2023 at 2:00 PM
Memorial Mountain View Cemetery, 3115 East Bengal Blvd, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121