ASHLAND – Evelyn Kimball Gates died peacefully at the age of 99 on October 14, 2020, in Sun City Center, Florida, where she and her husband Harold have lived in recent years.
Her long and full life was filled with loving family, a broad circle of friends, a dedicated teaching career and participation and leadership in her community.
Born in Natick, Massachusetts on March 26, 1921, the daughter of Hosmer and Florence (Felt) Kimball, she lived most of her life in Ashland where she attended the public schools and went on to graduate with a degree in economics Class of 1943 from Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
After an early graduation because of WWII wartime needs, Evelyn worked for Lever Brothers in Boston. She soon married her husband, Harold, a returning Air Force WWII pilot, and they began a happy marriage of 76 years together filled with the activities of 4 children, work, and travels.
Forever interested in education, Evelyn taught first grade in the Ashland public schools for 24 years. “She typified what a teacher should be: Patient, Fair, Empathetic, Consistent and Firm. All children can learn.” During these years she and her husband enjoyed traveling and would often take off together with Harold piloting his private plane to explore new places and join friends around the United States.
After retiring from teaching, she began a new career with Ashland Directions, a community newsletter, where she served as its editor. Her warmth and respect for others encouraged them to join her in these public endeavors.
Because of her successful teaching career and service to the community, Evelyn was honored to be chosen for Ashland’s “Wall of Fame” where graduates of Ashland High School are distinguished for making an exceptional contribution to the American way of life.
Above all, Evelyn had great love for family and friends. She was warm and engaging and truly delighted in connecting with people. Her 10 grandchildren and great grandchildren cherished time spent with her splashing in the family pool or visiting the family camp in Maine. She was treasured by all who have had the pleasure of knowing her.
Evelyn is survived by her husband Harold, and her 4 children and their families: Beverly and Joseph Gracia of Mattapoisett and their children Caroline, Glynnis and Joseph; Wendell and Mary Elise of Mashpee and their children Jeffrey and Kimberly; Carol and Michael Rice of Plymouth and their daughters Gretchen and Rebecca; Emily and Richard Brown of Dartmouth and their daughters Carrie, Alison and Deborah. She is also survived by her brother Russell Kimball (Beverly Heaton) of Eastham, 10 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Evelyn’s family offers their heartfelt thanks to all those who were so kind and caring during her last years, especially Teresa Rowe-Wilson, her friend and caregiver, who has given her loving and respectful attention for many months.
Due to COVID-19 a family graveside service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ashland Public Library, Attn. Paula Bonetti, Director, 66 Front St, Ashland, MA 01721.
Arrangements are under the direction of Matarese Funeral Home. Please see mataresefuneral.com for on-line condolences.