LOWELL, Mass (CelebrityAccess) — — Craig Gates, the executive director of the Lowell Festival Foundation, and one of the creative team behind the Lowell Folk Festival and Lowell Summer Music Series has died. He was 65.
Gates died unexpectedly on December 30th at Lowell General Hospital after suffering from a massive heart attack, his daughter Kristen told the Lowell Sun.
“It was very sudden … a very sudden passing,” Arthur Sutcliffe, board chairman of the Lowell Festival Foundation told the Lowell Sun. “This is a shock to everybody. We’ve come to depend on Craig. He did a yeoman’s job with the Folk Festival. Stuff that people don’t even think of, Craig did.”
A native of Worcester Mass, Gates was a graduate of Tahanto Regional High School in Boylston and Salem State College. For the past six years, he served as Executive Director of the Lowell Folk Festival Foundation but previously spent more than two decades as years as the general manager of the Tsongas Arena in Lowell and as a manager at the Worcester Centrum.
In 2016. Gates was presented with the Thomas F. McKay Tourism Leadership Award from the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau for his work on the festivals.
Gates is survived by his longtime companion Brenda P. Maille, as well as his children, Ryan of Boston, Casey, Molly and her fiancé’ Nathan Strub, and Kristen Marie Gates, his brother, and sister-in-law, Wayne and Carole Gates; and his two nephews, Michael and Matthew Gates of Natick.