Deborah Lynn Gates
February 4, 1954  -  May 4, 2008

Deborah Lynn Walthall Gates of Merkel passed away at 1:42 a.m. on Sunday, May 4, 2008 in Abilene Regional Medical Center. Debbie has fought a heroic battle with ovarian cancer since August of 2005.

Debbie was born February 4, 1954 in Richland, Washington, the firstborn child of John and Nell Allen Walthall. When Debbie was 10 months old the family moved back to White Chapel in Coleman County. She began elementary school at the old Centennial School and attended and graduated in 1972 from Talpa Centennial High School. She married Edward Gates of Talpa, TX on February 12, 1977 in Coleman. She attended college at Angelo State University and TSTC Abilene and graduated with a degree in graphic design. Debbie was an avid gardener, wonderful photographer, and the best mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend anyone could ask for. She took care of her home, family, and friends until her last days. Debbie was a member of Merkel First United Methodist Church.

Debbie is survived by her parents, John and Nell Walthall of Coleman; her husband, Edward Gates of Merkel; her children, daughter, Terra Celeste and husband Jason Corrigan of Merkel and grandson Joshua Michael Corrigan; son, Jacy Sol-Walthall Gates and fianc Tracy Murphy of Abilene and grandchildren Sunny and Joel; son, Justin Parker Gates of Abilene; and daughter, Serena Raine Gates of Merkel; sisters, Denise and husband Jerry McDonald of San Angelo, Diana and husband Les Dobbins Jr. of Coleman; nieces and nephews : Logan McDonald, Lindsey McDonald, Aaron Dobbins, Adam Dobbins, Jennifer Gates, Tamara Gates, Leslie Gates, Ben Gates, Alexandra Gates, and many other friends and family.

Her memorial service with Greg Kennedy officiating, will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, May 8, 2008 at the First United Methodist Church in Merkel under the direction of Elmwood Funeral Home of Abilene. Lunch and family visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church of Merkel in the Fellowship Hall. The family asks that friends attend the lunch so that we can have a time of fellowship and celebration of life with prayer warriors, relatives, and friends. Graveside services will be held Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at White Chapel Cemetery in Coleman County.

Pallbearers are Sisters in Spirit: Donna Jackson, Denna OConnor, Fredell Sansom, Karen Aldridge, Brenda Saling, Wandrae Leszcynski, Susan Springer, Debra Mashburn, Renee Coulson, Cathy Aldridge, Ruth Knightstep, and special friends Stacy Cullins, Patti Gibson, and Katheryn James.

The family request memorials be made to the donors favorite charity.
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