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August 12, 2015
Dear Shipmates,

We recently lost a shipmate due to an extremely tragic incident. I have held off publicizing this event due to the sensitivity of the matter. Readers can access the appropriate web pages for the sad details. Many thanks to Mike Whitener for providing the information. Mike and his family were close friends with Ron.

Ronald "Ronnie" Howell Cates was killed on July 19, 2015 at his home in Live Oak, Florida. Ronnie joined the U.S. Navy in 1974 and graduated from Mineman class 'A' school. He was accepted for Seal training and eventually became a member of Seal Team 6 and later Seal Team 4. Ron cross-rated to Boatswain's Mate and retired as a BMCS in 1995. 

His obituary fills in other details:
Ronald "Ronnie" Howell Cates, age 64, of Live Oak, FL, passed away Sunday, July 19, 2015, at his home. Before relocating to Florida, Ronnie was a long time resident of Charleston, S.C. during his military career. Ronnie served in the U.S. Navy from 1974 to 1995. He was currently working for the Army Corp of Engineers. Ronnie loved to go canoeing, exploring, and diving in the cave springs of north Florida and spending time with his family. Originally Ronnie was from Forest Park, Georgia and graduated from Forest Park High School in 1969. He continued his education and earned a Masters Degree from Troy State University. He was predeceased by his mother, Mary A. Cates, his father, James H. Cates (who died two weeks before Ron), and a brother, David Bruce Cates. He is survived by two brothers: Gregory Cates, Griffin, GA and James Cates, McDonough, GA; one sister: Linda Guest, Meansville, GA; nieces and nephews: Layla, Keith, Ashley, Alayna, Brannen and Ethan; great nephew and great niece: Aedan and Tenley. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the church. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 25, 2015, in the Community Bible Church located at 2001 Jodeco Road, Stockbridge GA, with Pastor Tony Jones officiating. Interment will follow in Fincher Memorial Cemetery, Meansville, GA. Memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project would be appreciated in lieu of flowers.
This obituary is taken from the <funeral home page>
Details of Ron's death are provided by <Tallahassee TV station WCTV>
Original <obituary page>
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Disturbing YouTube videos exist that were made by Ron's son. They will not be listed here but I will make them available to those who choose to request the URL addresses. Please write <me> privately.