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  • Jeannie Watson

Enid Gates Celebrates 100th Birthday at River Bend Retirement Community!

Updated: May 20, 2019

From a very early age, Enid Gates loved to dance. She began with ballet and moved into modern dance, where she began performing professionally on stage at the age of 14. Soon thereafter, she had the opportunity to travel around the country doing shows at various venues eventually working for MGM and Paramount Studios. Over the next few years she performed with many actors, musicians and performers including the Glen Miller Band. She even played a part in “The King and I” movie production. Her life was exciting and fast-paced for a young single girl. At a show in Albuquerque, the production was extended several times and she was in town long enough to meet her future husband, Joe Witherspoon, who was home from the Navy. They met and fell in love and he introduced her to a quieter life in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, where she quickly adapted. When they first married, a pastor was told they didn’t have a local church they belonged to, so he began studying with them. He told her to find the source of truth; one must always look to the Bible. Enid loved hearing about the word of God and they were baptized shortly thereafter. She gave up dancing for family life and the two worked hard to build a successful business and raise their two sons. Later in life, after her husband passed away, she married Marshall Gates, who had worked for them in their business. She has been active in her church and as a member of the Assistance League for many years. When she moved into River Bend, she enjoyed the community so much that she insisted Francene Hoffman consider it as well. She made arrangements to show Francene her home and encouraged her to purchase a home in River Bend. She would not take no for an answer, and Francene followed her advice. They have been great friends ever since. Enid has enjoyed playing 42 and is still sharp as a tack. She can still evaluate her hand and bid courageously, which is why she is such a good player. She continues to this day meeting every week with a group in her home. Her son, Dee, lives in River Bend and stops by each morning to make her coffee and check on her. She lives with Shelly, her rescued Chihuahua, who loves nothing more than sitting on her lap and keeping her company. When Enid softly sings, Shelly is quick to join in and the two sing together. Upon reflection, Enid says her life has been filled with many ups and downs, but she firmly believes that you should bloom where you are planted. Her quick smile and positive attitude are a testament to that. On New Year’s Day, family and friends gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday. All of us at Lakeview Christian Home extend a heart-warming Happy 100th Birthday wish to Enid.

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