It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Katherine Doris Gates (born Doris Katherine Fisher), of Landisville, New Jersey, at the age of 44. Katherine passed away unexpectedly on the morning of January 26, 2019, in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.
Katherine was born May 16, 1974, in Winchester, Indiana, to Erman Leonadus Fisher and Haila Roxane Hunt. Growing up in Indiana, Dori, as she was known, fell in love with riding and showing horses. Many of the lifelong friendships Katherine developed were rooted in the equine community in Winchester and the surrounding area. During her teenage years, Katherine and her mother moved to Logan, OH where she graduated from Logan High School in May of 1993.
Following the completion of high school, Katherine enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard. After completing Basic Combat Training and Advanced Training, she returned to Ohio and performed duties and responsibilities as a Human Resources Specialist until entering Active duty service in 1998. Katherine would go on to serve as an Automated Logistical Supply Specialist and a Unit Supply Specialist until her retirement from the U.S. Army on April 30, 2015. Katherine retired at the rank of Staff Sergeant, selected for promotion to Sergeant First Class, with 20 years of active federal service and 23 years of total service time. Her duty locations included Fort Jackson, SC, Fort Lee, VA, Fort Hood, TX, South Korea, and Fort Carson, CO. Throughout her entire career, Katherine spent seven years overseas, including five years on the Korean peninsula, one year in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one year in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Her Awards and Decorations include; the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Army Commendation Award (5th Award), Army Achievement Medal (7th Award), NATO Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal (6th Award), Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd Award), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (2nd Award), Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd Award).
In retirement, Katherine remained active and was looking forward to her next great adventure. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Transportation and Logistics at American Military University and was nearing completion of a master’s degree in Management at the time of her passing. She worked as a substitute teacher in the Buena Regional School district, as a customer service associate at The Home Depot, and most recently worked as a veterinary assistant for Stepping Stones Veterinary Wellness, a large animal veterinary clinic specializing in the treatment of horses in southern New Jersey.
At the time of her passing, Katherine had recently celebrated her fourth wedding anniversary with her husband, Geoffrey Gates. While married for only a short time, Katherine and Geoff found great comfort in each other's company and he will miss her dearly. Katherine is also survived by her mother; her brothers, Bob McGuire, Dale Frazier and Shane Frazier; sisters, Dawn Frazier, Sherry McGuire-Kirby, and Deborah Rodriguez, as well as countless aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is preceded in death by her father and her sister, Karen Bates.
Friends and family may gather on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 4pm to 4:30pm with a Memorial Service to follow at 4:30pm at DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home, located at 2755 S. Lincoln Ave, Vineland, NJ 08361.
Katherine was a caring, passionate, and authentic person. Her smile and spirit were unmatched, and especially noteworthy considering the many challenges she overcame in life. The world is a little less perfect now that she is gone. Her husband, devastated by this loss, asks you to keep her in your thoughts and actions and to carry her laughter on in her memory. "I irrevocably love you!"
In lieu of flowers, Katherine's husband asks that you consider making a monetary donation to the American Heart Association by going online to: bit.ly/katherinesheart and contribute to the fight against heart disease. Those wishing to honor her life can donate in her memory and have a gift announcement sent to email@example.com