Clarence R. Gates

Clarence Rollins Gates died April 25, 2008 at his home in Westlake Village, California following a brief illness.  He was born August 21, 1926 in Belvidere, Illinois to Clarence Forsberry Gates and Aileen Rollins Gates.   The family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma and Clarence graduated from Central High School.   His further education included a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Mathmatics from California Institute of Technology.

He started working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1950 and retired in 1991 as Associate Director of JPL. He was one of the pioneers in space technology, and among his accomplishments were leading the design of the first interplanetary spacecraft and leading the design of the original space navigation system.

He was an avid backpacker, tennis player and life-long musician.  After retirement, he joined several music groups including the Moorpark Symphony Orchestra playing the violin.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, sons William of Vancouver, BC and Robert of Pasadena, CA and daughter Cynthia (Fred) Gortner of Oak Park, CA and grandchildren Devyn, Davis and Danica; his sister Barbara (Ed) Wright of Atherton, CA, brother David (JoRita) of Rancho Sante Fe, CA and sister-in-law Suzanne Gates of Tulsa, OK.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother Ron of Tulsa, OK.

Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Moorpark Symphony Orchestra (in memory of "John" Gates), 7075 Campus Road, Moorpark, CA 93021.