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James H. Tate Jr.

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TATE, Jr., James H. James H. Tate, Jr., 93, died June 16, 2014. Jim Tate was born in Rome, GA on January 29, 1921, the son of Mr. & Mrs. James H. Tate, Sr. Educated in the local public schools, his childhood home was the Rome Mill Village where his father was Fire Chief. Tate said his childhood was "the best any kid could have." He entered the University of Georgia in September 1937, at the age of 16. Upon graduating in May 1942, five months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Tate later said he received his diploma in one hand and his ROTC commission and active duty orders in the other. In September 1942, he married the love of his life, Miss Ellen Fayette Routledge of Rome, GA. A brief honeymoon in Atlanta began a marriage that would last more than 72 years. After additional training in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, and Norfolk, the division moved overseas to Great Britain. Tate's division was not part of pre D-Day landing, but later for the buildup of forces and breakout from Normandy. Tate was wounded during the breakout operation and hospitalized in England. He was later assigned to duty in London and returned to the U.S. for discharge in October 1945. Tate stayed in the Army Reserve (retiring as Lieutenant Colonel in 1962) and saw service in the Korean action July 1950-September 1951. During this period, he served as 8th Army press briefing officer and as Public Information Officer of the Korean Military Armistice Conference. In 1955 the family settled in Atlanta and Tate was employed by Atlanta Gas Light Company, then the largest gas utility in the southeastern U.S., as Director of Public Relations. After 30 years, he retired in 1986 as Vice President of Corporate Communications, a department that included relations and services to press, customers, employees, and the public, as well as special events and advertising. In Atlanta, Tate was active for many years in church and PTA work, along with participation in civic, charitable, and professional organizations. He was the first president of the UGA Journalism School Alumni Association and served as president of the Georgia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. For two decades he served on the advertising and public relations committees of the nationwide American Gas Association. In 2004, the Tates moved to the Charleston area to be closer to family, Dayna and Dick Elliott. In 2010, Tate was inducted into the University of Georgia's College of Journalism Grady Fellowship which honors UGA J-School graduates whose "lives and careers cast light on the work done in their field through their influence, achievements and service to the media professions". His personal interests included travel with his wife (especially to England), reading (especially history), and photography. His writings include a history of Atlanta Gas Light Company entitled "Keeper of the Flame", a two volume personal memoir, a family history, and articles appearing in the Atlanta Journal Sunday magazine, Army Information Digest, and The New Yorker magazine. During his research of his family history, Tate was especially gratified to trace his male line to James Tate of England, who landed in America in 1635, as a lad of 17. Most importantly, Jim Tate was known as man of character who modeled this attribute to all who had the pleasure to know him. He is remembered for the love and mentorship he provided to his family (DTRT), as well as to a wide range of business associates and friends. He loved hearing a good story and was always ready to tell one. In addition to his wife, Ellen, Jim Tate is survived by their three children: Dayna Tate Elliott (Dick) of Charleston, SC; Stephen R. Tate (Jeanne) of Fairhope, AL; and James H. Tate, III (Christy) of Weaverville, NC. He and Ellen also have seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a host of beloved nieces and nephews and their families. A family service will be held in Rome, GA, at a later date. Memorials may be made to Volunteer Services, Charleston Veterans Administration Hospital, 109 Bee Street, Charleston, SC, 29403. Please note "Jim Tate" on the memo line. Arrangements by PALMETTO CREMATION SOCIETY, 11 Cunnington Ave., Charleston, SC 29405, (843) 722-2555. Online condolences may be left at palmettocremationsociety.com
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on June 19, 2014
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