Arlene Maxine Gates was born May 8, 1933 in Parker, SD to Art and Leona (Smith) Jones. She attended country school and graduated from Parker High School in 1951. In 1954 she received her R.N. Degree from Sioux Valley School of Nursing. She dedicated her life to nursing, working in Sioux Falls, Minnesota and Arizona before returning to Mitchell in 1966 to work at Methodist Hospital. On June 13, 1968 she married Ronald Gates Sr. in Alexandria. They purchased Mitchell Retirement Home in 1969, where Arlene was the Director of Nursing. In 1984 they purchased Firesteel Healthcare Center, where Arlene worked until her retirement in 1998. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, where she delivered roses to the families of newborns and taught 2-year-old Sunday school. Arlene served on the board of directors of Wesley Acres and was active as a spouse in the South Dakota Trapshooting Association and the Mitchell Gun Club. She was South Dakota Ladies Archery Champion in 1970. For many years Arlene played Mrs. Claus for the nursing home, bringing smiles to many faces.
Arlene touched many lives through her hobby of cross-stitching. She always thought of others and sent many cards with personal notes to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. She valued and maintained close relationships with many friends and family members, organizing reunions to help people stay connected.
Grateful for having shared her life are husband, Ronald Gates, Sr.; one daughter, Lauri and husband, Mark Robinson and children, Molly and Betsy of Spokane, WA; a stepson, Ronald Gates, Jr. and wife, Rose of Mitchell and their children, Chris and Shelly of Orlando, FL; Nick and fiancé, Maja Cromwell of Vermillion; three sisters: Ruth (Peter) Gortmaker, Parker, Bettie (Gene) Larsen, Sioux Falls and Marilyn (Jerry) Davis, Rapid City; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Dale “Doc” Jones and a sister, Ellen Berg.
A Memorial Fund has been established to the Arlene Gates Nursing Scholarship
at Dakota Wesleyan University.