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Stephen Chandler Gates
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Birth: Feb. 29, 1984
Death: Jan. 30, 2006

GATES, STEPHEN CHANDLER Feb. 29, 1984 to Jan. 30, 2006 Stephen Chandler Gates, 21, of San Diego, passed away Monday following a battle with clear cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Stephen was a senior at University of California, Santa Cruz studying U.S. History. He was an avid skier, rock climber, mountain cyclist, computer enthusiast and guitarist. A wonderfully kind and gentle soul, Stephen left an indelible impression on all of those he touched. He will be greatly missed, but his spirit will live on in all of us who loved him. Stephen is survived by his parents, Steve and Cindy Gates, brother Jared of San Diego, CA and girlfriend, Dana Oium of San Mateo, CA. Viewing scheduled at El Camino Memorial Park Mortuary, 5600 Carroll Canyon Road from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Thursday. Funeral services will be held Friday at 3:00 P.M. with a Viewing from 2:00 to 2:45 P.M. at Ascension Catholic Parish, 11292 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Donations in the name of Stephen Chandler Gates can be made to San Diego Hospice, 4311 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92121 ( The Gates Family would like to thank the tireless efforts of all those who attended to Stephen at UCLA Medical Center, UCSD Thornton and San Diego Hospice.Please sign the guest book at

Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on February 2, 2006

Stephen Chandler Gates was born on Leap Year Day February 29th of 1984 in San Diego California. He marked the early years of his life with the same milestones others use to mark theirs, but unlike others, his life ended all too soon. He died one month short of his 22nd birthday in the same city where he was born, surrounded by the family and friends who knew him best. Yet while his story has a tragic ending, his life in those intervening years was anything but.

He lived a full life. He was a history buff, a lover of astronomy, a passionate debater, a rock climber, a mountain biker, a very accomplished skier. He was to us a son, to Jared a brother, to Dana a lover and to many a friend. He had no time for fools, but all the time in the world for everyone else. However you knew him - as Stephen, Steve, Bug, OB or any of the other amusing variations of his name or nickname - his friends were friends for life. None of them had the time or patience for relationships of convenience, which is a compliment of the highest order not just to Stephen, but to all of you who knew him enough to call him a friend. In Stephen's eyes, his college years were the best of his life. It was there that he met those who would become the closest of his friends. In their company his love of music grew and he learned to play the guitar. In the beautiful surroundings of Santa Cruz, free to pursue his many interests, he grew into the young man he would become. Stephen had always been a student of history and was pursuing a degree in American History at UC Santa Cruz, with an eye towards studying law or becoming a college professor himself. While he fought his illness for much of his senior year and didn't live to see graduation, he was awarded his baccalaureate degree posthumously, five months after his untimely death.

In Stephen's short life, two passions outside of his friends and family topped all others:

He possessed a deep and abiding love for all things related to the mountains. He was a highly accomplished alpine skier and lived to ski the steeps and boundless powder snow of Mammoth Mountain. He adored mountain biking; even after having endured three rounds of chemotherapy, he still managed to ride the rugged trails at 10,000 feet. And he was born to climb. Whether scaling the rocky cliffs of Joshua Tree National Park, climbing the famous Mountaineer's Route to the top of Mt. Whitney or rappelling down from the top floor of his dormitory at UC Santa Cruz having nothing beneath his feet but the thin air around him was one of life's thrills.

Music. It could move him to his core and bring him to tears. He had flirtations with the reincarnation of punk music, followed the emerging trends of Alternative Rock and loved the classics. Whether the masters of classical music or the pioneers of rock, he followed them all. The art of Pink Floyd though, he regarded as the best of the best and in their words and music he found comfort, solace and meaning. 
El Camino Memorial Park
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA
Created by: Ang
Record added: Mar 18, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106892832
Stephen Chandler Gates
Added by: Ang
Stephen Chandler Gates
Added by: Ang
Stephen Chandler Gates
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Debbie - CA
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- Amy Wolfe
 Added: Jun. 3, 2015
Rest in peace.
- Mimi
 Added: Jan. 31, 2015

- R I P
 Added: Jan. 11, 2015
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