Bennie Jean Gates passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at her home in Carrboro, N.C. Born July 16, 1935 to Jim and Jack Wright, Bennie grew up and lived her entire life in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. She was blessed to be the youngest of six siblings; Fred, James, Dwight, Charles, Dewey and Mildred. Surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins, she maintained strong family ties.
Bennie graduated from Chapel Hill High School. She married young and immediately went to work at UNC Hospital where she was an Administrative Secretary in the Ophthalmology Department. She and husband Hoyt (deceased) had four wonderful children together; Jeanann (deceased), Ricky (deceased), Al and John Claude. Bennie worked at UNC for many years and retired so she could spend time with her family and enjoy time at the beach.
Bennie loved her family, the beach and her Lord. She loved family gatherings whether it was Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays or just family time. She always enjoyed good food and good conversation. She loved reading, listening and learning. She was a gentle person, easy to please; always looking out for someone else. The sound of the ocean waves was soothing and gratifying to her. She could sit on the beach and feel the warmth of the sun and listen to the sounds of the ocean waves for hours. Lastly, her lord was such an important part of her life. She read the Bible, knew the scriptures, but more importantly, she lived it. She was ready to go “home” to her Lord, family and friends in heaven.
Bennie’s survivors include her sons Al (wife Diane) and John Claude (wife Teresa). She was blessed with 3 grandchildren; Lori Stiegemeier (husband Tyler), Christopher Durham and Ashley Durham. She had two great grandchildren; Miles and Madeline Stiegemeier. She was extremely close with her sister Mildred Weaver who lived down the street from her in Carrboro. She had many nieces and nephews and enjoyed all the time she spent with them.
Our family would like to thank all the caregivers – specifically those from Home Instead of Chapel Hill for all the loving care provided over the past 8 years.
Bennie believed in giving back to the community. She provided monetary donations to several worthy causes, however St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was at the top of her list. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to St. Jude in Bennie’s name.
Family and friends are welcome to attend a celebration of life at Carrboro United Methodist Church on Friday, November 17, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive guests starting at 10:00 in the Fellowship Hall at Carrboro United Methodist Church.
Walker's Funeral Home of Chapel Hill is assisting the family.