FRANKLIN – Priscilla Dewing Gates, age 93, passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday morning April 20, 2022, after being cared for lovingly by her family and caregivers for several years.
Priscilla was born June 19, 1928, in St. Albans, the daughter of the late James Adolphus and Kathryn (Gilbert) Dewing. She attended school in East Franklin and then Franklin and graduated from Franklin High School in 1946. She attended the University of Vermont for one year and graduated from Muskingham College in 1950 with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Physical Education. Upon graduation, she taught physical education and health at Proctor High School for a year before marrying the love of her life Charles Gates on August 4, 1951, at the East Franklin Union Church in East Franklin, Vermont.
Priscilla and Charles lived in Germany from 1952 to 1954, while Charles served in the U.S. Army. After returning to Franklin, Priscilla assisted Charles in the operation of the family dairy farm, Franklin Electric Light Company, and Franklin Telephone Company while raising nine children.
Through the years Priscilla served the public as a Franklin Central School library volunteer, MAHA board member, Justice of the Peace, Franklin Rescue volunteer, and Meals on Wheels driver. She also participated in local organizations such as the Mother’s Club, Neighborhood Club, Rebecca Guild, and United Church Women. Priscilla actively supported the Republican Party in her younger years. She was a member of the East Franklin Union Church and an associate member of the Franklin United Church.
Priscilla was known for her legendary chocolate fudge, sometimes staged on top of rice krispy treats. In addition, she made many quilts for family members.
Once retired from farming in the fall of 1997, Priscilla and Charles drove cross-country to California to visit extended family and enjoy our beautiful country, exploring caves and visiting dams and national parks.
At the age of 75, Priscilla became a water aerobics instructor at Brannon’s Pool. Like any endeavor she took on, she gave it her all, continually researching new ideas to bring to her water aerobics family. Priscilla retired from instructing on her 89th birthday when she was honored with a lifetime membership to the pool.
Priscilla loved her family and her time with them more than anything. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gave her great joy and she was happiest when surrounded by them. She loved beating all of them at solitaire, counting cars by color, and playing balloon volleyball.
Priscilla also enjoyed helping her family and friends and watching her children's and grandchildren's sports and other activities. She loved swimming and taking boat rides with family and friends at Lake Carmi.
She is survived by eight children, George Gates, Gregg and Patty Gates, Paul and Diane Gates, Robert and Cindy Gates, Gerald and Wanda Gates all of Franklin, Polly Fennessey of Windham, NH, Donald and Martine Gates of Franklin, and Mary and Michael Viens of Berkshire; her grandchildren, Sara and Sam, Casey and Marissa, Maggee and Billy, Brenna and Brooks, Ashley and Devin, Emma and Eric, Mandi and Adrian, Karen and Sean, Kathryn, Thomas and Sarah, Bobbie and Chris, Katie and Adham, Harrison and Erika, Brendan and Serena, Bethany, Mary, Mae, Charlie, Luc, and John; her great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Shane, Baxter, Lyddie, Grady, Jude, Nola, Maisy, Everett, Robin, Addison, Gabriel, Sawyer, Grace, Finnegan, Rebekah, and Kairi; a brother and his wife, Gilbert and Betty Dewing; a brother-in-law and his wife, Hugh and Cynthia Gates; many nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Charles Gates, daughter, Brenda Gates, and son-in-law, Richard Fennessey.
Friends and Family are invited to attend Priscilla’s Life Celebration to include visitation on Friday, May 6th from 4-7 PM at The Goss-Spears Life Celebration Home, 96 Dickinson Avenue, Enosburg Falls, VT.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 7th at 11 AM at the Franklin United Church, 5414 Main Street, Franklin, VT with Pastor Vawn Edele officiating. Interment will follow at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Franklin.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Priscilla’s memory may be made to the Franklin Homestead, Inc. - Carriage House (114 Homestead Drive, Franklin, VT 05457), the Franklin United Church (P.O. Box 84, Franklin, VT 05457), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI, 4301 Wilson Blvd, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203), or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family through www.gossfs.com.