Cate, Darrell Perry, age 52, of Flowery Branch, Ga., formally of Knoxville, Tenn., passed away Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, Ga.
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Darrell graduated from the Knoxville Adaptive Educational Center of Knoxville, and was a lifelong member of Washington Pike United Methodist Church in Knoxville. Prior to the death of his parents, Darrell participated on the handicapped-bowling league, sponsored by the Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville. Although he was never a recipient of any of the center services, he raised thousands of dollars for those who were through their Bowl-a-Thon fundraising efforts.
Darrell had a passion for anything American. He had traveled with his parents to 49 out of the 50 states. He collected postcards from all over the country; his collection numbered in the tens of thousands. Darrell was a fixture at Dollywood for many years, going there as many as three times a week. He was known and loved by many of the employees. He attended every show in Dollywood each time he went, and was so loved by the staff and performers. They arranged for him to go backstage and meet Dolly Parton. This was one of Darrell's favorite memories. Darrell was an avid Tennessee Volunteer fan. "Rocky Top" was one of his favorite songs.
After moving to Georgia, Darrell attended an adult day program at Annandale Village in Suwanee, Ga. He thrived in this environment for many years; forming close ties with the other "Villagers" and staff. When his health began to fail, he was a resident at Willow Wood Nursing Home in Gainesville, Ga.
Preceded in death by parents, William P. and Margaret Cate. Survived by brother and sister-in-law, Alan and LeeAnn Cate, Flowery Branch, Ga.; sister and brother-in-law, Darlene and Gary McMurry, Knoxville; nephew and his wife, Bill and Cheryl Cate, Lawrenceville, Ga.; nephew, Ben McMurry, Johnson City, Tenn.; niece, Anna McMurry, Crest View Hills, Ky.; aunts, Henrietta Whittle Cate and Vivian Cate Henderlight; and a host of cousins and beloved friends.
The family would like to thank the staff of Northeast Georgia Medical Center for their professional and compassionate care of Darrell during his greatest time of need. Their respect for him and his family will never be forgotten. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Darrell's name to The Cerebral Palsy Center of Knoxville, 421 E. Woodland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917, or The Dollywood Foundation,1020 Dollywood Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, or Annandale Village, 3500 Annandale Lane, Suwanee, GA 30024.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at Rose Mortuary Broadway chapel. Funeral service will follow at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Dr. Pat Polis and the Rev. Jim Bales officiating. The family and friends will meet at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at the main gate of Highland Memorial Cemetery for a 10 a.m. interment service. Online obituary may be viewed and condolences extended at www.rosemortuary.com.
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on Dec. 4, 2012