More detail on this person: CARLSBAD, CALIF. - It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Leroy Robert "Bud" Cates, 90, at his home in Carlsbad, Calif. Bud retired from the US Marine Corps with a rank of Major in 1968 and was a member of the Mustang Association. Subsequently he worked as a Senior Design Specialist of Lockheed California Co. (LCC). Bud was the fourth of seven children born to Schuyler L. Cates and Mary Alice Robb Cates of Covington and is preceded in death by his parents and siblings Charles K. Cates, M. Louise King, Mary E. Salts and his loving wife of 62 years Bonnie Jean Richard Cates. Bud graduated from Covington High School in 1938, and joined the Marine Corps in 1942. He was sent to aircraft mechanic and carburetion school, joined squadron SMS 33 in N.C., and shipped overseas in Sept. 1944. He was land based on Okinawa, preparing an assault on Japan when the atomic bomb was dropped. Bud returned home to find no prospects of work and re-enlisted in the Corps. He was sent to Quantico, Va. Aviation Technical School as an instructor. Shortly thereafter on Nov. 17, 1946 he married his sweetheart Bonnie. His next duty station was El Toro, Calif., where he immediately shipped out to Korea in July of 1951. His squadron assisted with the evacuation from the Frozen Chosen Reservoir area after an invasion by the Chinese. A second evacuation to Japan took place when the 38th parallel determined the border between North and South Korea. Afterwards, he returned to Quantico for a second instruction tour and attended two aircraft and jet engine turbo prop schools in Indianapolis. Bud was commissioned in Sept., 1953, transferred to Cherry Pt., N.C. and sent to Officers Electronics School in Memphis. A peace time tour in Okinawa followed. He returned to California and was selected for the provisioning team of spare and repair parts for the new C-130 in-flight refueler and transport aircraft at Lockheed Marietta, Ga. Bud was placed in charge of the provision team for turbo craft engines. His next duty assignment was Air Station Kaneoh'e Bay, Hawaii as ground electronics officer with additional duties as Crypto Officer, decoding and encoding incoming and outgoing Top Secret messages from the Air Station Command. In 1965, he was transferred to Marble Mountain-Da Nang Vietnam. Beaufort, S.C. was his final duty station and retirement after 26 years of military service. Bud was next employed by Lockheed, worked on Navy contacts for anti-submarine warfare aircraft, chaired meetings of LCC avionics equipment systems, and worked with Navy representatives to confirm compliance of LCC and Navy specifications, along with the manufacture of hardware systems. He led teams at Rye Canyon Test Labs with suppliers and Navy representatives of aircraft delivered to Naval Air Station North Island Sand Diego, and Cecil Field Jacksonville, Fla. He led technical teams who provided assistants to Naval repair personal in testing and fuel isolation of systems hardware. Upon the LCC contract being fulfilled and Naval acceptance of aircraft and avionics systems, Bud requested retirement. Bud and Bonnie built their new home and began annual visits to Hawaii, motor trips to the lower Rio Grande and south eastern states and to their hometown of Covington. Bud and Bonnie led a wonderful and blessed life and will be buried together at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery with full military honors. He leaves brother Harold (Angela) of Ill., sisters Martha (Clarence) Davan of Colo., and Delores High of Covington; many nieces and nephews, daughters Pamela (Ed) Burris of Laguna Niguel, Calif and Jane (Chris) Martin of Tustin, Calif., and three granddaughter Brianne (Brian) Beusser, Andrea Burris and Kailey Martin. Bud was an exceptional athlete and especially loved baseball and tennis. He met Bonnie at the Covington City Park courts. He was a true gentleman and patriot who loved this beautiful country and now he is at peace. His integrity and generous nature will be missed. He was an amazing father and a devoted grandfather. You will always and forever be remembered and loved by your many friends and family. Semper Fi.
Burial information: Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, CA
This information was last updated 08/16/2017
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Date posted on this site: 07/05/2021
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