2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Warren, Franks, Moak, Fleming
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE AND WORKS OF DAVID F. GATES, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE MISSISSIPPI TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, AND EXTENDING THE SYMPATHY OF THE MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE TO HIS SURVIVING FAMILY.
WHEREAS, David F. Gates departed this earthly life on February 13, 2007, causing great sorrow and sadness to his family and many friends and colleagues; and
WHEREAS, David F. Gates served for a quarter of a century as Executive Director of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association and was loved and respected by legions of colleagues and friends throughout Mississippi, the United States and beyond; and
WHEREAS, dedicated to the mission and values of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, David understood the vital importance of the civil justice system and the right to trial by jury for every American; and
WHEREAS, in 1990-1991, David was honored by his fellow state trial lawyer association leaders when they elected him President of the National Association of Trial Lawyer Executives; and
WHEREAS, born March 7, 1948, in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, David never lost his sense of commitment to community or his affection for the small towns of the South, such as the Reservoir area of Brandon, Mississippi, where he lived with his family; and
WHEREAS, David's unwavering commitment to community, faith and family led him to serve as a dedicated usher and small group leader at Pinelake Baptist Church; and
WHEREAS, in addition to his long and heroic defense of the Seventh Amendment, David deeply loved his country and loyally served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War; and
WHEREAS, David was a graduate of Pearl River Community College, where he was an outstanding member of the football team, and of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity; and
WHEREAS, regularly bringing joy and laughter with him wherever he went, David had a good sense of humor which lightened the lives and workdays of the association's members and employees and his many colleagues and friends; and
WHEREAS, David, always a source of help, optimism and humor, was the epitome of an outstanding leader of the Mississippi trial lawyers and partner of other state trial lawyer associations and the American Association for Justice; and
WHEREAS, David has been fondly remembered by his colleagues as: a "true friend...marvelous mentor and boss...truly 'first class' in every way"; a "remarkable man with a generous and kind-hearted spirit"; the "consummate diplomat...a true giant"; a man of "friendly Southern charm"; a "great leader"; someone "who could always make me laugh"; and one who simply "was fun, loved a prank, generous, always helpful" and who always put other people first; and
WHEREAS, for many members of the Mississippi Legislature, David F. Gates was a rock at times when grounding was needed, a source of inspiration when encouragement was needed, and a light heart when a laugh was needed; and
WHEREAS, David F. Gates will be greatly missed by his beloved wife, Sandy Burge Gates, his cherished daughter, Summer Lauren Gates, his brother, Tom Gates, and his entire family and countless friends and colleagues:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life of David F. Gates and express our sincere appreciation and gratitude for his many works and our deepest sympathy to his family on the sad occasion of his departure from this life.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Mrs. Sandy Burge Gates, the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.