Mary Jean Gates, 91, of Creston went to heaven Feb. 13, 2017.
She was born April 29, 1925, in Sioux County to Henry J. and Mary Van Houte Rensink. She graduated from Boyden High School in 1942. It was while she was attending business college in La Crosse, Wisconsin, that she met her husband-to-be, Albert Gates. After three dates, they were separated by Al’s deployment to Nazi Germany. Mary Jean wrote to her beau every day, and immediately upon his discharge from the Army in 1945, they were married. They honored their vows for 71 1/2 years.
In 1949, Mary Jean was invited to an ole time evangelistic tent meeting. It was there she heard she was a sinner and in desperate need of being born again. Jesus Himself said in John 3 “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” She also heard Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Other scriptures were shared with her to show her that her goodnesses were not good enough to get her to heaven. She had a sin debt to pay and only Jesus could pay it for her. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Mary Jean heard the truth, believed it in her heart and by faith trusted in Jesus to be her Savior. Romans 10:13 says, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Mary Jean repented of her sin and realized “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away and all things become new.” All her married life she was devoted to God, her husband Al and her family, and was actively involved in the ministries of First Baptist Church and the Gideon’s.
Mary Jean was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Glenn and Bud; two sisters, Eleanor and JoAnn; and daughter-in-law Maggie.
She is survived by her husband, Al; one sister, Doris; one daughter, Marian; two sons, Glen and Alan (wife Nancy); 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Her body was buried Feb. 14, 2017, in Union Cemetery.
Mary Jean is in heaven enjoying the presence of her Lord and awaiting the resurrection. Her memorial service is 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at First Baptist Church in Creston.