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Drayton Hall Preservation Trust board chair Stephen F. Gates passed peacefully at his Wadmalaw Island home on July 7, 2017. He is survived by his devoted wife Laura, his siblings, nieces and nephews, and the thousands of friends, colleagues and acquaintances he accumulated through his distinguished career and philanthropic service.
Steve was a visionary leader. A thoughtful steward. A loyal friend.
We will all remember Steve in our own ways, through our personal connections with a man who meant so much to the Drayton Hall family. Steve’s passing marks the end of an era, one defined by his transformational leadership and energy. He will be missed.
Here at Drayton Hall, Steve’s impact has never been more apparent. Construction continues on our new facilities, a project Steve shepherded and championed. His influence is felt in the blueprints and materials, his voice will be heard in the museum and education programs these new structures will host. In many ways, Steve’s vision for Drayton Hall has been overtaken by reality. No longer a concept, it has been realized in stone, wood and slate.
Steve’s passing has left us heartbroken. At the same time, we are more determined than ever to honor his memory by fulfilling his vision for this irreplaceable site and the organization charged with its stewardship.
The Gates family has indicated a memorial service will be held in September. In the meantime, we will press on, as Steve would have wished, with the work that meant so much to him. We appreciate your support and share your grief at this difficult time.
Carter C. Hudgins
President & CEO