Phyllis Lucille Gates

Phyllis Lucille Gates

Dawson, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota, USA
Death 4 Jan 2006 (aged 80)
Marina del Rey, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Montevideo, Chippewa County, Minnesota, USA
Plot Block 173, Lot 1
Memorial ID 12957521 · View Source
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Phyllis Gates, 80, died Jan. 4, 2006 in Marina del Rey, CA. Her funeral was held Jan. 10 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Montevideo with Rev. Donald McKee officiating. Organist was Annette Thompson.Active casketbearers were Arlen Ketelsen, Jim Gates, Steve Ketelsen, Paul Gates, Bruce Burdorf and Bob Barwick. Honorary casketbearers were all her friends. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Cemetery.
Phyllis Lucille Gates was born on Dec. 7, 1925 in Dawson to Leo and Mabel (Johnson) Gates. She was baptized at Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church in rural Dawson and confirmed at Our Saviors Lutheran in Montevideo. She graduated from Clarkfield High School.
Phyllis worked at Dayton's in Minneapolis and as an airline stewardess before moving to California and becoming a secretary for Hollywood agent Henry Wilson. In 1955 she married Rock Hudson, a marriage lasting three years. She spent a number of years as an interior decorator before retiring. She wrote a book “My Husband, Rock Hudson.”
She is survived by a sister, Marvis Ketelsen of Montevideo; a brother, Russell Gates and his wife Mavis of Albert Lea; a sister-in-law, Marguerite Gates of Faribault; eight nieces and nephews; several grandnieces and nephews; three aunts; one uncle; a number of cousins, and a close friend, Judy Shackelford.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Verna Ketelsen; and a brother, Benton Gates.
Anderson Funeral Home of Montevideo handled the arrangements.

Phyllis Gates, the Hollywood secretary who insisted that she married Rock Hudson out of love, died January 4 in Marina Del Rey, Calif., of complications from lung cancer, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Gates first met Hudson in 1954 when she was working for Hudson's agent Henry Willson, the gay starmaker who is the subject of the recent biography The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson.

She moved into his house in early 1955 and, amid growing media suspicion about Hudson's sexuality, married the star in November of that year.

"I was very much in love," she later told Hudson biographer Sara Davidson. "I thought he would be a wonderful husband. He was charming, his career was red-hot, he was gorgeous. How many women would have said no?" Gates later wrote, in her 1987 book My Husband, Rock Hudson (written with Bob Thomas), that their sex life was unsatisfactory and that he "virtually abandoned" her during a five-month bout with infectious hepatitis in 1957.

She divorced him the following year and never remarried. Gates, who never revealed the truth about her ex-husband until after his death, is survived by a sister and a brother.

Family Members


  • Created by: dot
  • Added: 11 Jan 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12957521
  • Darryl P. Van Rijn f/k/aJay R Marsh
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Phyllis Lucille Gates (7 Dec 1925–4 Jan 2006), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12957521, citing Sunset Memorial Cemetery, Montevideo, Chippewa County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by dot (contributor 46604592) .