Ken Carlos Kates

Sunrise: October 1, 1963

Sunset: November 1, 2020

On October 1, 1963, the world was forever changed by the birth of Ken Carlos Kates in Danville, VA, to James and Carolyn Kates. The oldest of three siblings, Ken was an awesome son and big brother. He was affectionately called “Brah Brah” by his sisters.

In the hopes of a bright future, Ken’s parents moved with him to Bronx, New York.  He attended Bronx Public Schools from Elementary to Junior High. At the age of 16, Ken’s best friend tragically lost his life. With his grandmother’s health declining back in Danville, VA and now the loss of his friend, his parents felt it was best to move back home. Ken would matriculate through the Danville Public Schools, graduating from George Washington High School in 1982. During his younger years, Ken was a member of Bethel United Holiness Church. It was here where he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Ken worked diligently in ministry, playing the drums.  Ken’s mother, Carolyn, made sure he was raised in a Godly home under the fear and ammunition of the Holy Spirit.

“Behold the Green and Gold!” Ken was a PROUD alumnus of Norfolk State University where he studied Business Administration. He loved telling us all about his college days with his beloved friends and their Norfolk State homecomings.

In 1989, Ken met the love of his life, Vickey Zachary. In 1990, the two of them would go on to make his greatest masterpiece, Antoine Boaz Kates. There is nothing we could write that would adequately convey the love and the bond he had with Antoine. That was his best friend and they did everything together. When Ken lost his leg and became confined to his home, it was Antoine who lived with him and provided care. Antoine was his faithful companion, even unto death. We love, honor and appreciate you, Antoine!

Ken retired from the City of Norfolk where he was a Water Treatment Operator. A natural mathematician, Ken took great pride in his job and enjoyed helping his community.

To know Ken was to know that he was LOVED by ALL! He was the smartest, wittiest, wisest, most gentle and loving man you have ever met. However, with all of the wonderful things that could be shared about him, you have to mention the fact that no one could have a conversation about ANYTHING that did not somehow lead him into talking about FOOD! He always wanted to know what you were making and how you were making it. If you needed help with a recipe, “Have no fear!”, “Big Los” was just a phone call away! He was always available to give a lending ear with sound advice. His baby sister, Kim, affectionately called him the ‘Ghetto Gandhi” and had even begun keeping a log of his funny quotes and wisdom.

Ken was a proud member of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge #87. Up until a week before his passing, Ken was a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys. However, the last post on his Facebook page (10/19/20) said “I got one thing to say, The Cowboys Suck!” So, one can only surmise that Ken finally came to his senses and decided to ditch his lifelong patronage of the team! (Just jokes, Ken!)

As the family, we wish there was more space and time on the program that would allow us to celebrate the life of our dear son and brother. His oldest sister, Joy shares her favorite picture which shows him standing behind her as a baby while she was attempting to walk. She often says that was how he supported us his whole life, always having our backs while allowing us to pursue our dreams. Simply put, it would take YEARS to share the loving memories and funny stories of our dear Ken.

Ken departed this life peacefully on November 1, 2020. He is preceded in death by his father, James Kates. He is survived by: His two sons, Antoine Boaz, James Arthur, His mother, Carolyn Kates, His two sisters, Joy Pearson (Darin), Kimberly Kates-Bell (Greg) His nephews (Kentrez, Sean, and Gregory, Jr.) His nieces (Imani, Micaiah, and Adrienne) His lifelong friend, Vickey Kates and a host of Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and friends he affectionately considered family.

Ken Carlos Kates, you have left us with many memories to treasure. As his close friend said “Los wasn’t one in a million, he was ONE OF A KIND. He was the best at everything- best father, best son, best brother, and best friend”.



No Public Viewing Memorial Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Sunday, November 8, 2020 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service 7246 Granby Street Norfolk, VA 23505 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance

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  1. reply
    Sallie T. Cooke says

    My deepest condolences to the family of Carlos Kates. I met him years ago while serving on jury duty with him. That led to a beautiful friendship. I am so sorry to hear about his passing and pray for the family. Rest in Paradise my friend until we meet again.

  2. reply
    Lashan Williams Privott says

    To The Family of Ken Carlos Kates My deepest sympathy and prayers are with each and every one of doing this time of sorrow.Just remember the good times you shared with Carlos and that god only takes the best for his garden.

  3. reply
    Charles Chalmers says

    November 6, 7:56pm I would like to offer my Condolences to the Kates’s Family. I have known Ken since the early days at GW to our days at NSU as my first roommate to calling each other over the years in the tidewater area. Rest In Peace my life long friend you will be missed.

  4. reply
    Robinette Clark says

    My prayers, love and condolences go out to my family. My Big Bro, confidant, encourager, chef and morning road dog (via telephone) is now resting. I will forever cherish the memories we have shared. He was truly one of a kind. Well done Big Bro, well done!!!!!

  5. reply
    Dis Locke says

    My deepest condolences to the Later family & to his Sons. Carlos was a dear friend & follow Spartan. You will be truly missed by this girl from Philly.

  6. reply
    Wanda Zachary says

    Always a smile, never stopped being family. My the Lord comfort all who knew and loved him. ~The Zachary Family,
    Aunt Barbara, Uncle Edward, Wanda, Niya & Kali❤️

  7. reply
    Lionel McCloud says

    May God bless Carlos. My heartfelt condolences to his children, family and friends. Carlos was a great friend over the years and I am saddened to hear of his passing. We were classmates at Norfolk State University. Carlos you will be greatly missed until we meet again. God Bless.

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