She was born May 9, 1930, in Putnam County, to Curtiss and Anna Strain.
She graduated from Reelsville High School in 1948, and graduated from Indiana State Teachers College and went on to receive her masters in education.
She retired from the Longfellow Preschool in Columbia, Md., where she taught for 15 years.
She had a love of teaching children, whether it was preschool, kindergarten or Bible school at church. Jean was a member of the Temple Baptist Church.
She is survived by husband Dean M. Gates, daughters Kathleen Reed and Gwen Peterson of Maryland, Jennifer Dulaney of Virginia, and son James Gates of Wyoming, grandmother of Rachel, Joey and Joshua Peterson and Mark and Mary Dulaney, sisters and brothers Doris Dickens of Florida, Don Strain of Indianapolis, Carol Butts and Ray Strain of Brazil, and Lois McKinney and Richard Strain of Knightsville, aunt Grace Bayer of Knightsville and uncle Tom Bayer of Brazil.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Dec. 10, at Temple Baptist Church in Glen Burnie, Md.