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Bryon Ervin Gates

August 11, 1953 — June 21, 2024


Seminole businessman and community leader Bryon Gates has succumbed after a three-year battle with cancer, passing away Friday night, June 21, 2024, at home in the arms of his loving family. 

Bryon Ervin Gates was born Aug. 11, 1953 in Glens Falls, NY, to Ervin Foster Gates, and wife Elizabeth Charlotte Edmunds Gates. He moved to Seminole County in 1978, having graduated from high school in Titusville, Pa., and Adirondack Community College. He worked as an independent building contractor, in the logging industry, on a dairy farm and in the accounting department of International Paper Company before moving to Seminole County. 

He married Susan Bridges on Jan. 13, 1973, in South Glens Falls, NY. They have four children. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January 2023. 

In Seminole, the family joined the Presbyterian Church. Bryon was ordained and served several terms as an elder in the Seminole church. He served First Presbyterian Church of Wewoka as an elder and treasurer from 1989 to 2021. 

Bryon was named to the board of the Presbyterian Goodland Children’s Home in Hugo in 2005 and continued on the board until his death. 

In Oklahoma, Bryon worked as an independent contractor, an insurance salesman and as a co-owner of a roustabout service until his church friend Neil Molleur started Seminole Chemical and Supplies, Inc. in 1982. Bryon went to work for Neil as a salesman. Both men spent days making sales calls, then the next days as delivery men for the new company. Seminole Chemical grew and flourished due to their hard work. 

In 1995, tragedy struck when Neil passed away from cancer. Bryon moved into the CEO position at that point and later purchased the company, where he worked until his death. 

As an active and involved community member, Bryon served on the advisory board of First United Bank in Seminole and as a past member of the board of Tri Cities Substance Abuse. He served on the board of Seminole Chamber of Commerce and continued to support many of its programs and activities throughout his life. 

In 2017, Ed Herber asked Bryon to fill in as a volunteer at Interfaith Food Pantry. Bryon enjoyed the ministry and continued working there as a regular helper. In 2018, following the death of Don Gill, and at the request of the many Interfaith volunteers, Bryon stepped up to serve as chairman of the Pantry. His leadership enabled that organization to continue providing food for many families in Seminole County, even during Covid, when Bryon would deliver food directly to homes, dropping it on porches because of the quarantine. 

Bryon was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Elizabeth Gates and grandson Jonathon Chance Gates. 

He is survived by his wife, Susan, of the home; his three sons and daughters-in-law, Thomas and Scooter Gates of New Lima, Jonathon and Lacy Gates and Matt and Becky Gates, all of Seminole; his daughter and son-in-law, Julia and Jonathan Griffin of Owasso; 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; one brother, George and Lisa Gates; three sisters, Katherine Brown, Mary and Rick Wolling, and Barbara and Mike Bartlett. 

Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29, 2024, at First United Methodist Church in Seminole. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home. 

Pallbearers will include Trent Tamura, Austin Gates, David Gates, Cameron Gates, Hunter Gates and Jarrod Wood. 

The family has requested memorial donations be sent to Seminole Interfaith Food Pantry or Goodland Presbyterian Boys Home in Hugo, Okla. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bryon Ervin Gates, please visit our flower store.

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