KINGS MOUNTAIN-Fred Andrew Tate, 79, resident of Kings Mountain, died Jan. 21, 2013, at Kings Mountain Hospice House.
He was born in Kings Mountain to the late Brooks Roosevelt Tate and Leola Bridges Tate.
He is preceded in death by his beloved son, Gregory Eugene Tate of Kings Mountain; and his brother, Eugene Webster Tate of Portland, Ore.
Mr. Tate graduated from Kings Mountain High School where he earned his varsity letters in football and basketball. Fred joined the United States Air Force
in l953 and was deployed to Hickam field in Honolulu, Hawaii then to Eniwetok in the Marshal Islands, and West Palm Beach Florida airbase. He was honorably discharged in l957 as Staff Sergeant. After returning to Kings Mountain, he earned his Associate degree in accounting at Howard's Business College in Shelby.
Fred worked with the U.S. Postal Service and retired from there after 33 years. He joined the Kings Mountain School District serving primarily at Bethware Elementary and retired after eight years.
He was an active member for 57 years of Bethlehem Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and youth worker. He also served with the N.C. Baptist Disaster Relief teams in recovery efforts in Tarboro and Burgaw, and Pineville, W. Va., after Hurricane Floyd.
As one of the 16 original members of the Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department, he was instrumental in establishing the "Big B" fire district in Kings Mountain. He served in the positions of captain and chief. His volunteer fire service included the position of Board Chairman and President of the Cleveland County Fireman's Association and longtime member of the benevolent committee.
Fred also was an active member of the Bethware Progressive Club for 23 years where he served as president, fair chairman, and treasurer for 17 years. Through the Club's efforts, thousands of dollars have been donated to Bethware School, and an annual scholarship of five hundred dollars was established for deserving graduating seniors at Kings Mountain High School.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Colleen Reynolds Tate; son, Michael Andrew Tate and wife Susan Finney Tate; daughter-in-law, Kimberly Porter Tate; loving grandchildren, Brooks Robert, Kristen Marie, Catherine Sullender, and Sarah Marie Tate.
He is also survived by his brother, James Oliver Tate and wife Helen Robbs Tate; and Mrs. Margaret Pauly Tate of Portland, Ore.
Visitation: The family will receive friends immediately following the service Thursday in the Christian Activities Center of Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Funeral Service: 2 p.m. Thursday at Bethlehem Baptist Church. The body will be placed in the sanctuary of the church for viewing from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Thursday.
Officiated By: Dr. Steve Taylor and the Rev. David Blanton
Burial: Bethlehem Baptist Church Cemetery, Kings Mountain
Funeral Home: Harris Funeral Home of Kings Mountain is serving the family
Memorials: May be made to Hospice of Cleveland County, Kings Mountain Hospice House, 951 Wendover Heights Dr., Shelby, N.C. 28150 or to Bethlehem Baptist Church "Building Fund", 1015 Bethlehem Rd., Kings Mountain, N.C. 28086
A guest register is available at www.harrisfunerals.com