Bonnie Jean (Williams) Cates 1934-202


Our beautiful Bonnie Jean (Williams) Cates left her blessed, earthly life on April 5, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on Sept. 23, 1934 in Gilmer to the late M.B. and Opal Ozelle (Nations) Williams. She was the only child for 16 years until her brother, Mike, was born. She had a wonderful childhood where she talked of many happy times, especially visiting her grandparents at their farm. She attended Gilmer schools where she met the love of her life, Johnny Edward Cates. Bonnie was named football sweetheart her senior year at Gilmer High School where she graduated in 1953. She attended Kilgore Junior College.  

On April 7, 1955, Bonnie married her high school sweetheart, Johnny Cates, at the First Baptist Church in Gilmer. They lived in College Station where he attended Texas A&M University. She worked on campus to support him as he pursued his degree in poultry science. After Johnny worked several jobs in the poultry industry, he changed his career path and became a county extension agent. Together, along with their growing family, they lived in Canton (Van Zandt County), Pittsburg (Camp County) and finally in 1970, they moved to Quitman (Wood County) where they built their home and raised their family.   

Their marriage was blessed with four children: Steven Edward (1957), John Scott (1958), Amanda Ann (1961) and Laura Lee (1963). She loved her husband and her children unconditionally. She had a giving spirit, a gracious heart, and she was never afraid to tell the truth, always giving her best advice.       

Bonnie was a homemaker and loved raising her children at home. She decided to go back to work when her youngest daughter, Laura Lee, started elementary school. Bonnie worked for Wood County Special Education in Quitman for 20 years until she retired in 1990. She enjoyed her time there serving as the cooperative’s secretary and loved helping children. She was always so kind and saw the best in everyone.    

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Johnny Cates in 2017; her son, Scott Cates; her parents M.B. and Ozelle Williams; her in-laws, William Bryan and Florence Ellen (Poole) Cates; brother-in-law, Charles Cates; sisters-in-law, Sara Jean Cates Lancaster and Juanita Cates; and numerous pets whom she loved like children.

She is survived by her children, Steve and LaNelle Cates of Quitman, Amanda and Dr. Tom Curtis of Rayne, La. and Laura Lee and Kent Weems of Quitman; 10 grandchildren who lovingly called her Grandmama, Cara and Brad Gibson of Golden, Candi and Corey Haisten of Lindale, Lauren and Clay Hightower of Quitman, J.T. and Casey Curtis of Opelousas, La., Dr. Logan and Dr. Erika Curtis of Las Vegas, Nev., Christi and Grant Domangue of Quitman, Kevin and Dr. Leah Weems of College Station, Dr. Carl and Courtney Curtis of McKinney, Lindsey Weems of Richardson and Scott Curtis of Baton Rouge, La.;  her 17 great-grandchildren, who loved spending time with their Granny, Conner and Braxten Gibson, Cadyn and Cole Haisten, Lucas, Isaac and Abigail Hightower, Jack, Dane and Wes Curtis, Samuel Domangue, Judah, Asher and Evelyn Weems, John, Nate and Charlotte Curtis; her brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Linda Williams of Wylie; nephews, Brandon Williams and daughter Reese of Boerne, Chris and Erin Williams and their children Levi, Harvey and Martha Bonnie of Richardson; nieces, Pamela Cates of Dallas and Susan Lancaster of Longview; and her two sweet and spoiled cats, Fred and Maggie.

Our Mama, Grandmama and Granny truly left a family legacy where she was devoted to making the best memories with the ones she loved the most. She always let each of us know how much she adored us and how proud she was of her family. She was funny, enjoyed playing games, especially Mexican Train, and loved celebrating birthdays and holidays at her house. Christmas was her favorite holiday as she loved going to the Christmas tree farm, making Christmas shirts and buying gifts. Her grandchildren knew if Santa had forgotten something on Christmas morning, it would be waiting for them at Grandmama and Granddaddy’s house. She loved playing Zelda on her Nintendo, sitting at the table just talking for hours, listening to and singing Alan Jackson’s songs, watching episodes of Heartland and attending all her grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ events. She was such a strong, Godly woman who prayed fiercely for all her family, and she lived a good, humble life. We will miss her terribly, but are so thankful for all the happy memories that we shared together and the love we feel in our hearts because of the love she constantly showed us.  

Funeral services for Bonnie will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at Forest Hill Baptist Church in Quitman at 2 p.m. with Bro. Fred Morrow officiating. Visitation will be held from 12:30-1:45 prior to the service. Burial will be held at Grice Cemetery in Gilmer.

We would like to thank everyone for all the prayers, love and encouragement shown to us these last six weeks. A special thanks to the nurses, doctors and staff at the Quitman and Presbyterian Hospital. God has blessed us tremendously and will help us through this difficult time. For those who desire, memorial contributions can be made in honor of Bonnie Cates to the Gideons International Fund.