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Welcome to the memorial page for

Wayne R. Gates

March 8, 1939 ~ May 21, 2017 (age 78)

Wayne Roger Gates, age 78, of Coon Valley passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2017 with loved ones by his side. Wayne was born March 8, 1939 in La Crosse to Arlan Gates and Esther (Leas) Gates. Wayne graduated from Central High School and continued his education at UWL where he received his BS/MS. Wayne was united in marriage to Judy Johnson on April 23, 1966 at Northwest Prairie Church. Wayne was a teacher that many would not forget. He was dedicated to his students and his work. He taught for 37 years and barely missed a day. Many faces would still come up to him and say “Mr. Gates do you remember me I had you as a teacher”.  He began his career in education in Colby Wisconsin, then Manitowoc. While at Manitowoc he also helped coach the boys’ varsity basketball team to a state title. He spent most of his teaching career in the Viroqua School District where he built lifelong relationships with staff and students.  Wayne loved sports and refereed basketball, football and softball for 40 years. He enjoyed spending time on his riding lawn mower, weeding the garden, spending time with family and friends, and calling his children to talk about the weather and gas prices, as well as serving on the Vernon County Board and the Viroqua City Council.

Wayne is survived by his wife Judy of 51 years, children: Scott (Barb) Gates, Sheryl (Roderick) Bridges, Elizabeth (David) Wietrzak, and Mary (Grant) Radke; ten grandchildren: Tori, Colton, Connor, Kyla, Trejan, Kennedy, Sedona, Takoda, Damien, and Teagan; sisters: Rita (Fred) Bagniefski and Kathy (Greg) Dawald; he is also survived by his exchange students, Ann, Eva, and Paul, also many relatives and dear friends.

Wayne’s last wishes if he could not speak were that he would like family and friends to know that he loves them and he will wait for them in Heaven.

Wayne will be remembered as a gentle, compassionate man who loved the Lord. Blessed Be His Memory

The family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Viroqua Church of Christ with Pastor Ray Matteson and Pastor Paul Roberts officiating. Burial to follow in the North West Prairie Lutheran Cemetery. Family and friends may call on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua. The family suggests memorials may be made to the Coon Creek Fire Assn. or the Vernon Memorial Hospice Program. Online condolences may be left at

            The Thorson Funeral Home of Viroqua is serving the family.  

 Service Information

May 25, 2017

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thorson Funeral Home
856 South Rusk Ave
Viroqua, WI 54665

Funeral Service
May 26, 2017

11:00 AM
Viroqua Church of Christ
825 Nelson Pkwy
Viroqua, WI 54665

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