Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Douglas Cates, age 58

Douglas Cates, 58, of Austin, Arkansas unexpectedly departed this life on March 19, 2024, in Gould, Arkansas. He was born in Jacksonville, Arkansas on May 1, 1965, as a blonde-haired and blue-eyed sweet baby boy. He was the third of six children and the youngest son of the late Donald Ray and Caroline Sue (David) Cates.

Doug lived a lifetime of struggles and heartbreak, but as a child of God, he clung to his faith even throughout his darkest moments in life. God and family were the two most important loves in Doug’s life. If given a choice, Doug would have lived the life that could be likened to the words in the chorus of The Allman Brothers’ song “Ramblin’ Man”. However, Doug was dealt a much different hand and instead spent his life confined within the walls that chipped away at the person that he truly was. For those that knew him, Doug had a gentle soul and a loving heart. He longed to be understood and loved without judgement. His Mama was his person and when she passed away in 2017, a piece of his heart and soul went to Heaven with her. Doug loved to fish, and he loved to hunt. He spent his free years traveling across the United States. From the west coast to the east coast and everywhere in between, he found temporary employment working on farms, ranches, orchards, and other jobs that were seasonal for the area that he happened to be in at that moment. He relished the freedom of wandering across the country at his leisure. One of his greatest memories was lying on his back atop a train car as it rolled down the tracks. While staring up at the star-filled sky with the cool night air blowing across his skin, as the train carried him to his next destination, he was at peace and felt closest to God. He stated that this was the most free and best feeling that he ever experienced on this Earth. He often dreamed of returning to this carefree lifestyle…. he was never afforded this opportunity, but the thought lent him hope. Hope carried him through, and his soul is finally set free. He will never be forgotten, and he will be forever missed and loved.

He was preceded in death and welcomed into Heaven by his parents and grandparents.

Left to treasure his memory are his siblings: Donnie (Karin) Cates, Michael Cates, Tracy (Ronnie) Waymack, Jackie (Charles) Weeks, Shannon Cates, several nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, other family members and friends.

A visitation will be held to honor Doug’s life on Friday, March 29, 2024 from 6:00-8:00pm in the chapel at A Natural State Funeral Service. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, March 30, 2024 at 2:00pm in the chapel.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at


“Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man.

Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doing the best I can.

And when it’s time for leavin’

I hope you’ll understand…

That I was born a ramblin’ man.”

– The Allman Brothers

1 Comment

  • Tammy Abshure Posted March 26, 2024 10:29 PM

    I remember Doug as a kid he love fishing in the ponds I am so sorry for the family

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