Ray Cates, 83, of Covington, passed away on Friday, December 30 at his home surrounded by his family. Mr. Cates worked as a machinist for International Harvester for 30 years until they closed and then worked at Smith and Nephew for 20 plus years before retiring. Mr. Ray farmed as a youngster which led to his love of gardening. He loved to share his garden with others and he loved to cook as well. He served proudly in the Tennessee National Guard, was a member of the Holly Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church and served as care-taker/overseer of Indian Creek Cemetery in Brighton for a number of years. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Connie Cates; two daughters, Emma (Jimmy) Stafford and Erica (Chris) Cave, both of Covington; one brother, Mike (Martha) Cates of Burlison; four grandchildren, Maddie Stafford, Katie Stafford, Caleb (Courtney) Jones and Lillian Cave; two great grandchildren, Zane Stafford and Lacie Fay Jones and two sisters-in-law, Sylvia Cates and Janet Greggs. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marshall and Una Grace Cates; one grandson, Hunter Dee Stafford; two brothers, Phil Cates and Sidney Cates and one nephew, Phillip Cates. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 4 at the Covington Funeral Home chapel with interment to follow in Indian Creek Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3 at the funeral home.