Cover photo for Ruth Elizabeth Gates's Obituary
Ruth Elizabeth Gates Profile Photo

Ruth Elizabeth Gates

November 20, 1929 — February 28, 2022

Ruth Elizabeth Gates

Ruth Elizabeth Gates, 92, of Albany, GA died Monday, February 28, 2022 at her residence. Graveside funeral services will be held Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Crown Hill Cemetery. Rev. Tony Haefs will officiate. The United States Air Force Honor Guard will provide military honors.

Mrs. Gates was born on November 20, 1929 in Rockford, IL to a Swedish father, Helmer Gustafson, and an Irish mother, Margaret Lila Gibbs Gustafson. She grew up on a farm in Belvedere, IL and graduated from Bishop Muldoon High School in Rockford in 1947.  After High School, she attended St. Anthony’s Nursing School and graduated with a Nursing Degree in 1950.

She joined the United States Air Force in 1958 and held the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  While in the Air Force, Mrs. Gates met and married Carey R. “Pearly” Gates in 1959 and they moved to Albany, GA in 1960.  She attended Darton College and was employed with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Palmyra Park Hospital as supervisor of Central Supply. After her nursing career, she was passionately involved with the family restaurant business. The family business started out in 1962 as Burger Chef and later became Hardee’s. After leaving chain restaurants, the family established Pearly’s Famous Country Cooking in 1991.

Mrs. Gates loved spending time with her granddaughters shopping at local merchants, taking them to school, and attending their school functions at Deerfield-Windsor School.  She was a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church.

Survivors include her husband Carey “Pearly” Gates, two daughters, Debbie Devane (Joe), and Tracy Young (Carl) all of Albany, GA, three grandchildren, Haley Richers(Pat), Washington DC, Lauren Ousley (Andrew), Fairhope, AL, and Rae Knight (Tyler), Leesburg, GA, great grandchildren, Ella Ousley, Gates Ousley, and Gavin Frakes. The family would also like to show their appreciation for their loyal sitters, Angel Vicks, Cassandra Grimsley, Lisa Luke and Willie Lou Williams.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Mathews Funeral Home.

Those desiring may make memorials in memory of Mrs. Gates to Porterfield Memorial Methodist Church, 2200 Dawson Road, Albany, GA, 31707, to the Albany Humane Society, 1705 W. Oakridge Drive, Albany, GA, 31707, or to YoungLife Albany-Lee, PO Box 70053, Albany GA 31708 or

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Elizabeth Gates, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, March 2, 2022

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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