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Donald E. Cates 1946 - 2014
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CLAFLIN — Donald E. Cates, 67, died April 22 in rural Pawnee County. Born Oct. 8, 1946, in Cushing, Okla., he was the son of V.E. and Thelma J. (Gower) Cates. On May 29, 1965, he married Ginger Krug in Pratt. A resident of Claflin, he was owner and operator of the 94 Store in Claflin, was a pilot for Pratt Farmers Spraying Service and was a retired commercial airline pilot. He was a Barton County Commissioner.
Mr. Cates was a United States Army veteran, serving during the Vietnam Conflict. He was a member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Great Bend and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Claflin. He was an active public servant, serving on many community committees.
Survivors include his wife, Ginger Cates, of the home; mother, Thelma J. Cates of Claflin; three daughters, Debbie Craft and her husband Dennis of Wichita, Charlotte Kluza of Great Bend, and Kim Maples and her husband Chris of Eudora; five brothers, Bruce Cates of Driftwood, Texas, Raymond Cates of Fort Worth, Texas, Bob Cates of Claflin, Steven Cates of Emporia, and Barry Cates of Guyton, Ga.; one sister, Myra Prosser of Claflin; seven grandchildren, Savanna Outley and her husband Brian, Jaclyn Camarotti and her husband Teo, Jessica Craft, Vincent Craft, Christopher Cates and his wife Jennifer, Kayla Maples, and Corey Maples; ten great-grandchildren, Skyle Outley, Ethan Outley, Kaydnce Outley, Skylar Meyer, Tyler Meyer, Kyri Cates, Jacob Hayes, Mercedes Cates, Monte Cates, and Kaelyn Cates; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father; one infant sister, Deborah Ann Cates; one nephew, Travis Cates; and one great-granddaughter, Spirit Rae Meyer.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the First Southern Baptist Church in Great Bend with the Rev. Dr. Doyle Smith officiating. Burial will be at the Claflin Cemetery with military rites by the Fort Riley Honor Guard. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and from  9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, at Bryant Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the Vivan and Thelma Cates Scholarship Fund, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at
Funeral arrangements provided by    
Bryant Funeral Home*    
1425 Patton Road    
Great Bend, Ks. 67530
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, April 24, 2014