County dads recognize the value of fathers

Johnson Lane volunteer firefighters cook up sausage and bacon at the department's Father's Day Pancake Breakfast on Sunday.

Johnson Lane volunteer firefighters cook up sausage and bacon at the department's Father's Day Pancake Breakfast on Sunday.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.


In an early Father’s Day present, county commissioners approved an amendment to County Manager Patrick Cates’ contract allowing him to live outside the county so he and his wife could take care for their elderly fathers.

Cates said he preferred to live in Douglas, but that circumstances surrounding the care of two elderly parents have changed.

“I like the culture here and like the community,” Cates said. “Washoe Valley is nice, but farther away from Reno is good.”

Commissioners wished him God speed in taking on the care of his father and father-in-law.

“As we go through life our circumstances change and you are standing up to that responsibility,” Commissioner John Engels said.

“There’s no better reason to make a move than supporting your parents,” Commissioner Danny Tarkanian said.

Cates said it was his hope that at some point he could return to Carson Valley.

When the Cates purchased their 1,694-square-foot home Mountain View Estates in December 2019, they kept the home they’d owned in Washoe Valley for 22 years.

His 81-year-old father and daughter lived in the Washoe Valley house. After his daughter moved out, he and wife Bonnie started spending more time in Washoe Valley to maintain the property and keep his dad company.

During the coronavirus outbreak, Cates’ 91-year-old father-in-law came to live with them in the Carson Valley home, but once things opened up, Bonnie’s father hopped back into his motorhome and headed to Arizona. However, that didn’t last long before the elderly man’s declining health resulted in his return to Carson Valley.

“He needs daily care and assistance; which Bonnie and I provide as best we can,” he said in his letter to commissioners. “My wife is a saint.”

After his father was in a collision last year, he required increased care, which has required the Cates to spend more time in Washoe Valley.

The issue is that the Johnson Lane home isn’t big enough for both elderly gentlemen and the Cates.

“The house in Johnson Lane is much smaller and not well suited to the housing and care of two elderly men and a middle-aged couple,” Cates said.

It’s the first amendment to the contract that Cates signed in March 2019.

Cates said it’s his intention to sell the home in Johnson Lane.


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