Marabel Frances Gates – Sundance Times


Marabel F. Gates, 97, died peacefully in living faith on April 1, 2022. She was born on July 27, 1924 in Sheridan, Wyoming. She was a life member of the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church.

She was born to Fred R. and Frances S. (Roberts) Blakeman, the eldest of 14 children. The family was raised in the Crook County, Wyoming area.

She graduated from Moorcroft High School in 1941 and went to Black Hills State Teachers College in Spearfish for a year. She received her certificate to teach school for three years, which she did in Wyoming at country schools.

Marabel married Leo W. Gates on December 23, 1943. They had five children, born and raised in Wyoming: Francie, Robert, Maralee, Virginia and Lynn.

The family lived in Cheyenne for ten years where Marabel worked for the State of Wyoming in the Capital Building. From there they moved to Casper, where Leo died in 1985. They took many hunting and fishing trips together.

Marabel moved to Sheridan in 1989. She worked for Weight Watchers for over 35 years and also volunteered at the hospital’s gift shop.

She enjoyed sewing and quilting and was an avid walker. She has always been interested in people and her community. She never met a stranger and befriended everyone she met. She was loved by friends of all ages and will be greatly missed.

Marabel’s faith, family and Christian friends were of paramount importance to her.

She was predeceased by her husband; his parents; seven brothers; three sisters; as well as three of his children, Francie Lobstein, Robert Gates and Maralee Koch Smith; two sons-in-law, Glynn Lobstein and Michael Homola; and two grandchildren. Her brothers who preceded her in death, all Blakemans, were James, Robert, Richard, Kenneth, Benjamin, Theodore and Calvin. His sisters were, Lois Morgan, and two younger sisters, Elaine and Lillian.

Marabel is survived by two daughters, Virginia Lipka of Rock Springs, Wyoming and Lynn Homola of Battle Ground, Washington; 26 grandchildren; 55 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Ima (with her husband Frank) Massie of Spearfish, South Dakota; two brothers, Dallas (with wife Midge) Blakeman of Houghton, Michigan and Tom (with wife Lynn) Blakeman of Tucson, Arizona; and his sister-in-law, Edith Blakeman of Sheridan.

The funeral was held on Wednesday, April 6 at the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church in Sheridan. Burial was in Moorcroft Cemetery, Wyoming.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church of Sheridan, 111 Metz Road, Sheridan, WY, or The Hub (Sheridan Senior Center) 211 Smith Street, Sheridan, WY, 82801.

Online condolences can be sent to

Arrangements are the responsibility of Sheridan Funeral Home.


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