OLTON--Don E. Cates, 87, passed away peacefully May 25, 2014 at Runningwater Draw Assisted Living in Olton.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donnah Cates, as well as daughter, Cathy Cates and grandchildren, Lance and J'Dee Echols.
While earning a degree in accounting fom Texas A&M, Mr. Cates enlisted and served in the United States Air Force during World War II, with the ranking of Sargent. After leaving the Air Force, Don became a tax accessor in Brownfield. Never one to be afraid of a challenge, Mr. Cates then continued his schooling at the University of New Mexico, where he earned his degree to become a pharmacist.
Don went on to own two pharmacies in Roswell, NM, before taking ownership of Oswalt's Pharmacy in Seminole. This pharmacy was located next door to Autry's, a quaint coffee shop Don would frequent every morning with his friends, Jimmy Pierson, Carl Bennett, Forrest Lee, and Kenneth Selman (just to name a few). Don was a prankster and on one day, paid his mnthly coffee tab by pouring a water jug filled with dimes onto the cashier's countertop. That was Don. Seminole loved him and would not have been what it was without Oswalt's nor Don.
Don and Donnah eventually moved to Lubbock to stay close to their daughter and grandkids. It was never up for question how much Don loved his family and he did anything he could to provide and protect the ones he loved. He was a light-hearted, witty and caring man. A man who would do front flips on the bed with his grandchildren and give you the shirt off his back, without question.
Celebrate Mr. Cates' life by attending his graveside service at Gaines County Cemetery, Wednesday, May 28 at 2 p.m. Thank you to pallbearers Bobby Wicker, Jimmy Pierson, Gary Dugger, Barry Stephens, and honorary pallbearer Charlie Hall. Sincere thank you to Runningwater Draw Assisted Living and Cathy Cates for the care they showed to Don during his life and after his depature.
Services will be under the direction of Ratliff Funeral Home of Seminole.