Carl Gaites

Obituary of Carl L. Gaites

Carl L. Gaites moved on to another expression of life and is now with his Savior Jesus Christ receiving his heavenly orientation. Son of the late James Robert Gaites, Sr., and the late Lulu Lindstrom Gaites of Milltown, New Jersey, he was predeceased by his brother, James Robert, Jr. in 1943.

An Eagle Scout with Troop #33, Carl graduated from New Brunswick Senior High (’55), attended Rutgers University and then transferred to George Williams College, Chicago, (now part of Aurora University in Illinois) earning both Bachelors (’60) and Masters degrees (’62). During his last three years at college, he developed the first recreation program at the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind.

At a Valentine’s Day Dance in 1958 he met Ms. Alice Jean Hughes and before the night was over, he knew ‘she was the ONE!’ Alice soon dropped out of Presbyterian-Saint Luke’s Nursing School, and they married June 27, 1959 at Forest Park United Methodist Church. Altogether they enjoyed nearly 65 years together.

George Williams College is named for the founder of the Young Men’s Christian Association and was primarily a training school for YMCA, Scouts, Recreation leaders, and similar non-profit youth-serving organizations. While Carl sought to be a Boy Scout leader, an all expense fully paid YMCA scholarship provided by Sears Roebuck changed his career goals.

Carl began his Y career leading two branches at the Burlington County YMCA in New Jersey where, under the tutelage of CEO Cliff Ergood, he was successful in developing both operations. The next Y was in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, an independent YMCA near Valley Forge. In 3½ years this Y became one of the strongest Ys in the state with the addition of an outdoor center known as ‘Baker Park’. They relocated to Miami, Florida for a short-term assignment but in 1971 it was back up north to Frederick County, Maryland and another Y.

Carl remained the CEO at Frederick for fourteen years until medical problems forced him to look for another position but not before he was successful in starting the father/son Indian Guide program, a Chapter of the International Management Club, acquired one of the largest Boy Scout troops in Maryland, started a new YMCA in Loudon County, Virginia, ran two capital campaigns and added a major addition to the YMCA building. At one time the Frederick County YMCA was running programs in four states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.

Looking for a position that did not require fundraising, he became the Assistant to the Director of the Howard County Department of Citizens Services where he was helping to oversee several non-profit agencies partially funded by the county. He later became the CEO of one of those agencies, the Urban Rural Transportation Alliance (URTA) a small para-transit bus service serving seniors and handicapped citizens.

In 1993 Carl & Alice relocated to Venice, Florida and after a boring 1½-year retirement Carl became the Transit Division Manager for Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT). Under his planning the free Anna Maria Island Trolley Service began. He served on the MPO Citizens Advisory Committee, The MPO’s Technical Advisory Committee, the Venice City Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, the Florida Transit Association, and the Bahia Mar Condominium Board. He was Guardian ad litem for the court system, a Son of the American Legion Post 159, the Willis Chapter of YMCA Alumni, and a member of Elks Lodge 1854. A 32-year Rotarian, Carl was a member of five different Clubs in three states, with perfect attendance for sixteen of those years.

Retiring again in 2001, Carl and Alice enjoyed traveling to all fifty states and fifty-seven countries, card-playing, golf, and the Englewood Area Macintosh User Group.

He is survived by wife Alice, son James Robert III (Thao Nguyen) Arlington, VA and Christine Laura (Dr. Gregg Mason) North Port, FL. Also surviving are step grandsons Dr. Andrew Mason of Rochester, MN, Gregory Mason of Gaithersburg, MD, Minh “Luck” Giang a student at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, Hieu “Bin” Giang, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, and step granddaughter Margot Lancaster of Coral Springs, FL. Of note: Christine was born October 8, 1964 – Carl’s 27th birthday! Also, son Jim and Thao were married October 8, 2017, Carl’s 80th birthday.

Inurnment will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, 1475 Center Road, Venice on Saturday, May 13 at 11:00 AM, with a Remembrance Service to follow along with family videos. Those wishing to commemorate Carl’s passing are asked to contribute to their local YMCA, the SPCA or a charity of your choice. Those wishing to leave comments can use Farley Funeral Homes website at We hope heaven has enough Diet 7-Ups to last an eternity.

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Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Christ Church Venice
1475 Center Road
Venice , Florida, United States
(941) 493-7504
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