Pastor Wilbur Tate Jr.

Pastor Wilbur Tate, Jr.

DACULA, GA: Pastor Wilbur Tate, Jr. aged 79 of Dacula, GA passed away on Sunday, February 17, 2013 of natural causes.

He is survived by his wife of 55-years, Mamie Sue Tate (formerly Hurse) of Dacula, GA and Avondale, AZ; and his son, Wilbur Tate III (wife, Rosa Drake-Tate) of Dacula, GA and their children, Monique Ross (husband, Clauzell); Damien Tate and Sade' Drake and his adopted daughter, Desiree MacBeth (husband, Albert) of Newport News, VA and their children, Trevon McBeth, Stephan McBeth and Marquan McBeth. Mr. Tate was preceded in death in 1987 by his oldest daughter, Susan Renee Tate (surviving children, Monique and Damien).

Mr. Tate was the oldest son of the late Wilbur and Ada Marie Tate. He is survived by brothers: Ralph L. Tate (wife Sarah) of Deshler, OH; Lawrence D. Tate of Findlay, OH; John W. Tate (wife, Debra) of Fostoria, OH; Dr. James E. Tate of Toledo, OH; and sister: Jacqueline M. Russell of Findlay, OH; Wilbur was a great-grandfather to six girls and eight boys. In addition, numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends survive him. It is also important to note that throughout the years in Findlay, Fostoria, Port Clinton and the Greater Phoenix, AZ area he and his wife informally adopted numerous children and their families by supporting them through challenging circumstances in their lives. These unofficial children of Pastor and Mrs. Tate still call them Dad and Mom to this very day and are deeply saddened by his passing.

Pastor Tate was born and raised in Findlay, OH. After high school graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he heroically served through the Korean War and served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. In 1974, he sought retirement after 22 years of service and was Honorably Discharged as a Staff Sergeant. After retirement, Wilbur returned to Fostoria, OH and began working at ATLAS Cummins -Diesel as a Foreman. While working at ATLAS, Wilbur felt God's call and pursued theological studies through the Mason Chapel AME Church and its Pastor Adolphus Smith. After 6 years of study, Wilbur graduated and received his Pastor's Certificate. His first assignment was Faith Chapel AME Church located on Sycamore Street in Fostoria, OH where it still stands today. At Faith Chapel AME, Pastor Tate along with wife and first lady, Mamie Sue, they grew the church from 4 to 200 members over the next 17 years. After his father-in-law, Pastor Walter Hurse of Faith Chapel Church of God in Christ, passed away, Pastor Tate assumed leadership of the Church for the next six (6) years. Looking for a new climate, Pastor Tate retired from an ATLAS Cummins subsidiary and he and his wife relocated to the Phoenix, AZ suburb of Avondale where they lived for the next 18 years. Pastor and Mrs. Tate became active members of Murph Community AME where they both assumed leadership roles on the church's board of directors, teaching Sunday school and leading the music ministry.

Throughout Pastor Tate's life, he loved fishing and at one point even owned a charter fishing business called Walleye Warrior Fish & Charter. Even after moving to Phoenix, he often made trips home to fish for walleye on his beloved Lake Erie.

A Memorial Service to Celebrate the Life of Pastor Wilbur Tate, Jr. will be at 11am at Faith Chapel AME Church located at 220 Sycamore Street in Fostoria, OH on Saturday, March 2, 2013. In observance of the deceased wishes to be cremated, his remains will be scattered on the shoreline and in the waters of Lake Erie, which he loved so much.

As Pastor Tate got older, if you asked him how he was doing, he always replied, "I'm pretty good for a young fella!". Yes, he was pretty good for a young fella.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial donations be made to the in the name of Wilbur Tate, Jr.

Published in the News Herald on Feb. 23, 2013