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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Jacqueline Loconsolo Gates

Jacqueline Loconsolo Gates passed away at her home in Woodlawn Park, N.J. on Nov. 3, 2021. She was 69 years old.

A part-time resident of Shelter Island, who summered here from the time she was a child, Jackie was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to John and Jean Loconsolo on Sept. 9, 1952.

She is survived by her husband, Robert Gates, stepchildren Jeanelle Marie Gates and Brendan Robert Gates, and his wife Lisa.

Jackie was one of eight children, the loving sister to Maria Caccese, Antoinette Chiaro, Regina Dedick and her husband, Drew, Janet D’Auria, Elizabeth Loconsolo-Sposato and her husband, Michael, and Rosemarie Rizzo. Jackie was predeceased by her oldest sister, Victoria Loconsolo, in 1977.

She is the sister-in-law of Harold and the late Reginald Gates, and Tina and Karin Hanson. She is also survived by many adoring nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

A graduate of St. John’s University with a BA in education, Jackie taught 4th grade at the Lutheran School in Brooklyn. She loved children and often tutored them at home. She was charitable, generous and caring, often volunteering at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Patterson. In addition to teaching, she was an administrative assistant to her father, John, working at his office in Brooklyn.

During summers and weekends spent on Shelter Island at their home on Burns Road, Jackie and Bobby were fixtures at many Island events such as the Chicken Barbecue and Fireman’s Country Fair.

Family and friends lovingly remember Jackie as a true individual who derived pleasure from being with her nieces, nephews and their children. A gentle, selfless person, Jackie’s sense of humor was disarming and infectious. She was gregarious, making even complete strangers feel comfortable and kindred.

Those who knew Jackie will tell you that she could contextually recall the names of almost everyone she had ever met, a testament to her unadulterated caring for individuals. As one sister shared, “She always believed there was something good to be found in every person and she was willing to help anyone who was in pain, both mentally and physically. And she could remember everyone’s name because she truly cared about who you were.”

Jackie exhibited a sense of kinship and authentic interest in people from all walks of life, celebrities included. One sister recounts lunching with Jackie and a group of friends in Jupiter, Fla., when someone noticed Burt Reynolds seated at a nearby table. “Without hesitation, Jackie went over, introduced herself and had him holding her hand, conversing and laughing for quite awhile,” she said.

Jackie enjoyed sailing, tennis and a host of other activities. As one sister said, “She always set goals for herself and achieved each one.” She especially enjoyed the afternoons spent with her husband as they motored around Island waters in his boat. They would lunch in Sag Harbor before visiting the Loconsolo house on Coecles Harbor, where Jackie and the rest of the family could watch Bobby take her nieces and nephews for boat rides and water skiing.

With regard to life’s challenges, Jackie met them head on, without complaint or self pity. Later in life, she showed exemplary courage and strength in fighting the disease that eventually took her life, but never robbed her of her indomitable spirit.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions in Jackie’s name be made to a cancer research organization of one’s choosing.