Darrel D. Cates, 75


Darrel Duane Cates, lifelong Missouri Valley resident, died Sunday, July 16, 2023, from complications related to open-heart surgery, at the age of 75 years old. Darrel was born at home, Dec. 27, 1947, in Magnolia. At two years old, his family moved to Missouri Valley, where he lived the remainder of his life with the exception of the time spent in the service. Darrel was the 7th of eight children born to Elmer and Amanda (Smith) Cates who preceded him in death as well has his siblings: Stella Lovelady, Harry Cates, Floyd Cates, Louise Oleson, Tom Cates, and Ted Cates; and son-in-law, James Cox.He is survived by his sister, Carol Kahl, Zephyrhills, Fla.

Darrel attended Missouri Valley schools and graduated from MVHS in 1966. He played on the 1965 undefeated football team, was the first Missouri Valley athlete to go to state for wrestling and held the shotput record for many years. He was also Athlete of the Year his senior year. He went on to attend Wayne State College for one year where he fondly recalled his experiences as a Golden Gloves boxer. In 1968, Darrel enlisted in the Navy under the “buddy program” with Dennis Sproul and Robert (Bob) Barker, friends of his from Missouri Valley. He later served as a shipfitter on the USS Vulcan and the USS Nitro, a refueling ship during the Vietnam War. After discharge from the Navy, on Feb. 26, 1972, he married Daryl Lee Manning in Franklin, Pa. The couple returned to Missouri Valley, the only place he ever wanted to live. They raised their family in Missouri Valley, and he dedicated his life to serving the community he so dearly loved. Darrel served as the Chief of Police for 14 years, owned and ran the renown Missouri Valley staple and landmark, Dairy Den, for 27 years, and had been a bus driver for Missouri Valley schools for 27 years. He loved the kids who rode on his bus, and every year, during the last week of school, he treated his kids on the bus to Dairy Den.

Darrel was a member of the Optimist Club for many years and was on the founding board of AYSO soccer responsible for bringing the sport of soccer to Missouri Valley. His hobbies included leatherwork, carving, and raising rabbits, and he has sponsored the Grand Champion Rabbit Trophy at the Harrison County Fair for many years. He attended and served on the board of Sunrise Nazarene Church. In 2016, he was chosen to be Marshall of the Missouri Valley Fair Parade. Darrel served on the Rand Center board and very much enjoyed his Rand Center Coffee group. Up until his last day, his coffee group was the best way to start his day, and his family helped drive him when needed to make sure he didn’t miss this special part of his day.

Darrel is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Daryl Manning Cates; as well as his five children, Dawn (Rick) Olivares of Flower Mound, Texas, Rachel (Ryan) Rempel of Chillicothe, Mo., Hannah Cox of Missouri Valley, Nathan Cates of Oxford, Wia., and Abby (Terry) Frazier of Missouri Valley. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren who were the apple of his eye, RosaLynn and Ricardo Olivares, Ryanna (Matt) Rempel Williams, Ryder and Rylee Rempel, Hunter and Cali Cox, Fisher Dems, and James, Titus, and Cate Frazier.

After retiring, Darrel and Daryl bought a motor home, named it Larry, and took many trips across the country to see sights, family, and friends. He would often tell his children and grandchildren, “I was able to see the world in the Navy, but I plan to spend the rest of my life seeing America: the most beautiful country in the world!”

Darrel was a devout Christian who poured his life into his family and his community and loved the Lord, his family, his friends, and his country.

Family and friends gathered to honor his life at Hennessey Funeral Home, and he was laid to rest in Calhoun Cemetery near his parents. His final home is in heaven where he praises his Lord and Savior and patiently awaits to greet those he loves when the Lord deems so.

Military Honors will be conducted by The United Sates Navy and VFW Post #6256 and O’Hara Seeley Post, Julius F. Muller American Legion Post #337.

Arrangements made by Hennessey Funeral Home. www.hennesseyonline.com