HARRISON, N.Y. - Family and friends of Steven M. Gates filled St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Mamaroneck Saturday morning to say goodbye to a man who lost his life prematurely.
Gates, 54, died after running in the Oct. 20 Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10K, collapsing during the Sleepy Hollow Manor portion of the race.
Gates's best friend, Joe Taylor, said Gates, a passionate musician, inspired all the artists in the room who performed at his funeral. Taylor said he was in Washington, D.C. last night for a music event Gates planned to attend.
"Steve had plans to move forward," Taylor said. "He was a great father and loved his family. He would say let the panels rock. Don't silence them."
The Rev. David Rider said the past week has been a roller-coaster of emotions for Gates' family and friends, adding that the news came during the Rye/Harrison football game that Gates' children attended.
"They were cheering for Harrison and then instantly they had to say goodbye to their father," Rider said. "Words cannot explain how a man in the peak of his life took his last breath prematurely. There are no words to describe it but we can take solace that Steve was doing what he loved."
Jens Lindemann said Gates was his mentor. Before performing "Someone to Watch Over Me" at the service, Lindemann recalled how Gates inspired him.
"He had international reach," Lindemann said. "He is not gone and is still with us in spirit."
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