Loren D. Gates -- Rochester

December 30, 2018 GMT

Funeral services for Loren D. Gates, 87, of Rochester, will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, at Zumbro Lutheran Church, 624 Third Ave. SW. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Zumbro Lutheran Church Mission Sewing or an organization of the donor’s choice.

Loren Dean Gates was born on May 19, 1931, in Austin, to Don and Dorothy (Nordland) Gates. He died on Dec. 27, 2018, at his home.

Loren’s parents farmed in the Rose Creek area, and he attended Austin area country school, graduating from Austin High School in 1948. His 1948 American Legion baseball team was Minnesota State Champion. He attended Austin Community College for two years, where he played end on the football team.


Loren then served in the U.S. Navy from 1950 to 1954. He was a Naval Aviator and spent two years stationed in Guam in a Weather Recon Unit, in which he flew multi-engine planes into typhoons to permit the on-board team to obtain data on the strength and likely path of the storm.

After his discharge, he completed his education at Mankato State University, majoring in History and Accounting. Loren worked for many years for State Farm Insurance as a Claims Adjuster, retiring in 1993.

As a young man, Loren was interested in auto racing and owned a race car and a biplane that he kept at the Austin airport. Later in life, Loren and his daughter, Andrea, were members of the Minnesota Quarter Horse Association, and Loren started riding and competing in horse shows after retirement. Loren was active at Zumbro Lutheran Church, including volunteering to regularly transport quilts for Mission Sewing from Zumbro to a distribution center in the Twin Cities from which they are sent to recipients worldwide. Loren enjoyed daily walks around Silver Lake for a number of years after retirement and later walked every day at Apache Mall with his wife, LaVonne. Throughout his life, Loren was an avid reader with a particular focus on military and political history.

Survivors include his wife, LaVonne (Taralseth) Gates of Rochester; two daughters, Gretchen (Michael) Kelly of Edina, and Andrea Gates (Kevin Norem) of Burnsville; four grandchildren; and two brothers, Dale Gates of Garrison, Minn., and Darrell (Bridget) Gates of Denver. Loren was preceded in death by his parents.

Arrangements are with Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901. To share a special memory please visit www.ranfranzandvine.fh.com.