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Laurence R. Gates

Former resident, insurance underwriting expert, beekeeper

Larry Gates. (Courtesy photo)

Laurence R. Gates, formerly of Lancaster and Manchester, New Hampshire, died Feb. 8, 2023, at the age of 88. Larry was a resident of the Havenwood Heritage Heights senior community in Concord, New Hampshire, when he died.

Larry was born Nov. 23, 1934, to John Randall Gates and Charlotte Ann (Lafayette) Gates. He grew up in Harvard and graduated from the Bromfield School in 1952. His senior year was marked by a tragic car accident that left him permanently blind in one eye and in a coma for three months. Larry eventually recovered and attended Northeastern University where he received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising in 1957. Larry’s first job was at Eder Johnson’s Bicycles and Shotguns in Fitchburg, and then later at Blake Manufacturing in Clinton where Rayovac batteries were made.

While working for a small Defense Department facility in Harvard, Larry was introduced to his father’s friend, Don Haskell, who eventually persuaded Larry to apply for a job at New Hampshire Insurance. Larry found his calling in the insurance industry, working nearly his entire career for the New Hampshire Insurance Group, and later American International Group as a casualty and property insurance underwriting expert.

Larry met Jean Estelle Wheaton at the Leominster Dance Hall in 1957, and they were married in 1958. They danced through life together for 58 years, raising three sons and one daughter. Larry’s career took the family to Manchester, New Hampshire; Jacksonville, Florida; and Easthampton and Dudley, Massachusetts. Larry and Jean had an active social life through bowling and cribbage tournaments and plenty of traveling after retirement.

Larry’s main hobby through all these years remained beekeeping, which he developed as an interest from when he was 10 years old. Past president of both the Pawtuckaway Beekeeper’s Association and later, the Coos County Beekeepers, he delighted in teaching his hobby to anyone with an interest. For many years Larry could be found at the Lancaster Fair with his observation hive. He was a member of the Masonic Washington Lodge #61 in Webster and the North Star Lodge #8 in Lancaster, New Hampshire, where he was a past worshiper master (lodge president).

Larry was preceded in death by Jean on Oct. 13, 2016, and by his eldest son, Laurence Daniel, on April 12, 2019. He is survived by his sons, Randall Keith (Lou McLaren) of North Ferrisburgh, Vermont, and William Charles (Carla Gates) of Amherst, New Hampshire; and daughter, Reana Lois Constanzer (Mike) of Telford, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his brother, Jonathan Hubert Gates (Linda) of Canton, Georgia. Larry and Jean had eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A private family service will be held sometime in the spring. Bill, Reana, and Randy ask that any memorial gifts be sent to BAYADA Hospice, 194 Pleasant Street; Suite 9; Concord, New Hampshire 03301.

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