Kirk Douglas Cates, 52, of Oak Ridge, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, November 26, 2018. Kirk was born in Granite City, Il. He was a loving husband to Patti for 20 years, and a loving father to Ian. As a child, he and his family lived in a Chicago suburb before moving to Oliver Springs.
Kirk attended Faith Lutheran Church, where he met Patti. He proposed to her in front of the entire church choir at choir practice. He loved to laugh and make others around him laugh with silly jokes. He loved a variety of music and spending time with his family. He loved sports cars and motorcycles, and enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson with his brother and nephew, Jon and Jonathan, and the Wild Hogs.
He also loved doing projects around the house, crunching numbers, and having tickle time with his son, Ian. He was always willing to help with any job that needed doing. Kirk loved to travel. He had the opportunity to deliver Bibles to a family in Yugoslavia. He was in Germany to witness the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989.
For more than 30 years, Kirk worked in the family business, Faith Christian Ministries, with his father, Dr. Paul Cates. He was the Vice President and Educational Evaluator, a consultant who did diagnostic and cognitive testing, trained families, and consulted on developing and implementing Individual Cognitive Plans. He had a passion for helping all kids learn and love learning, including those with special needs, attention issues, or giftedness. He had a way of working with kids that put them at ease, even kids who usually struggle with schoolwork and teachers.
He received a Bachelor's degree in Special Education from Faith Baptist Bible College in 1987. He earned two Masters degrees from Frederick Taylor University, an MBA and a degree in Financial Management. In 2008, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Teesside in England, completing a dissertation entitled, "The Immediate and Long-Term Effects of an Individual Cognitive Plan on the Cognitive Functioning and Academic Achievement of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder." Kirk co-authored a published article in the Journal of the American Neuropsychiatric Association in 2004. He presented at numerous national conferences and conventions.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Paul Roger and Margie Cates; maternal grandparents, James and Anne Morrow; several aunts and uncles, including: Nan and Davey Meldrum; Danny Hampson; Alex Morrow, and Richard Cates; and special family friend, Heberto Coronado.
He is survived by his wife, Patti Truex Cates and son, Ian Cates, both of Oak Ridge; parents Dr. Paul and Isobel Cates of Oliver Springs; Aunts: May Hampson of Airdrie, Scotland, Beth Morrow of Billings, MT; Siblings: Peter and Linda Cates of Vail, AZ, David Cates and fiancée Sue Casey of Mont Vernon, NH, Jon and Diane Cates of Loudon, TN, Linda and Michael Boogaart of Jensen Beach, FL, and Anne and Scott Campbell of Greenfield, TN.
Also survived by numerous cousins in Scotland, Australia, and around the United States; In-laws: Bill and Mairzy Truex of Farragut, TN, Cody and Cindy Gaston of Chattanooga, TN, and Richmond and Beckie Truex of Chattanooga, TN. In addition, many nieces and nephews Kristi, Matthew, Evey, Hope, Simon, Kyle, Tucker, Jaimie, Jonathan, Brittany, Lily, Cassie, Zachary, Carson, Andrew, Angela, Isaac, Rachel, Gussie, and Aiden.
The memorial service and celebration of life for Kirk Douglas Cates will be Saturday, December 8 at noon at Faith Lutheran Church, 1300 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN, with Rev. Kirk Abatelli officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Since this will be a celebration of Kirk's colorful life, the family invites you to wear colorful clothing in his honor. Martin Funeral Home of Oak Ridge is handling the arrangements.