Derk Allen Gates was lovingly welcomed into the kingdom of heaven on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at 11:56 a.m. His parents were at his side. He was 48 years of age. Born April 19, 1968, in Lebanon, he was the son of Damon L. and Patricia Burns Gates; they survive.
Derk graduated with the Lebanon High School Class of 1987. He then pursued his interest in technology by attending a variety of educational seminars, as well as taking some correspondence courses through IUPUI.
For the most part, Derk was self-taught and utilized his access to the Internet to link with the outside world. Through the years, he pursued many interests including photography, Atari game repair, CB radio communication, chess and music of all genres, but most of all computers, for the strength and independence they offered.
He formed his own DJ business, N.G.N. DJ's, Inc., with two pals, Mike Nelson and Bryan Nicely, when he was 17 years old. The business has continued these many years, as other partners and participants have been involved including Blaine Boyland, Dustin Reynolds and Tim Maines. The name more commonly utilized now is, "DJ on Wheels."
In 1994 Derk, Chris Brown and Darrin DeBard established In-Motion, LLC, an Internet provider service that he co-owned for over 10 years. Following that, he became a part of Web Connectivity, LLC, which was established in 1999 by Boyland and Mark Ping. Derk had worked with them as a data center operations manager for many years.
Despite a diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy at 18 months of age, Derk amazed his doctors and the medical community by persevering through myriad health challenges. He never lost his will to live and his longevity can be attributed to his deep and abiding faith.
He had a wealth of friends who spent copious hours in the Gates home (often referred to as "happy house"). He was blessed with a family who adored him and an extended family who treasured him. With that being said, it was often Derk who was the "rock" when strength was needed. He was incredibly intelligent, insightful, had a grand sense of humor and a very tender heart.
Aside from his deep faith, Derk often turned to music to help sustain and lift his spirits, and had formed friendships with a variety of musical groups. In addition, he had a soft spot in his heart for "critters," and his dogs were an integral part of his daily life throughout the years. The few times this tough, but gentle soul shed tears was when an animal was hurting or had crossed the "rainbow bridge." We know he is now rejoicing with his beloved Poocher, Hobo, Truck, Thunder and Gus.
He was a servant of the Lord and was loyal to his church, Centenary United Methodist, where he offered his talent and wisdom over many years. It is without a doubt that Derk Allen Gates is now running and leaping with Jesus!
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his uncle, Michael E. Burns of Lebanon; cousins, Bradley Burns (Tracy) of Camby, Boyd Burns (Tonya) of Newnan, Ga., and their children. Also surviving are his paternal grandmother, Joann Gates of Florida; uncles, Don, Denny and David Gates; an aunt, Denise Chitwood; and numerous cousins and their children. In addition, loved ones considered as family are Kari Willis and her children, Koltin Willis and Alexa Cole, as well as Steve Cole and son, Steven Cole. A very special person in Derk's life has been Susie-Matt Simeca and family of Pennsylvania. He also leaves behind faithful canine companions, Gabby and Gator Boy.
He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Eugene and Bernadene Burns; paternal grandfather, Dorman Gates, and grandmother, Dorothy Jane Gates; his aunt, Sande Burns; and his beloved brother, Grant Gates.
Visitation is 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Centenary United Methodist Church,
910 Fordice Road, Lebanon. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Centenary, with Pastor Anthony Stone officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery, Lebanon.
Myers mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society for Boone County, Centenary United Methodist Church, or the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Online condolences may be made at www.myersmortuary.com.
Published on December 23, 2016