BURLINGTON - Dr. Allen Denny Tate Jr., 88, passed away peacefully at the Village of Brookwood on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, surrounded by family, after several years of declining health and three months after losing his beloved wife of 63 years, Nora.
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Dr. Tate, often called by his family nickname "Bunky or Bunk", was born upstairs in his parents' North Main Street home in Graham on March 25, 1924. He was forever known as a Graham Square Miler, defined by being born within one square mile of the Courthouse.
Bunky was valedictorian of his graduating class at Graham High School in 1941. He was also an Eagle Scout, a Charter Member of Tsalagi Lodge, Order of the Arrow (1939), and years later, with two young sons, he would serve as a Scout Master. Graham Presbyterian Church was his lifelong church. He served the church in various capacities - Deacon, Elder, Trustee, and Sunday school teacher. Bunk also served his community in leadership roles with the Graham Jaycees and Graham Kiwanis Club.
Bunky received his undergraduate degree and two year Medical Certificate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1946. While at Chapel Hill, Dr. Tate was a member of a Naval College Training Unit. He completed his medical training at the University of Maryland in 1948. He then did his residency in General and Family Practice at the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. After completing his internship, Dr. Tate entered active duty with the Navy and was assigned first to the Recruiting Station at Macon, Ga., and later as medical officer of the Naval Ordinance Plant there. He was released to inactive duty as a lieutenant junior grade and returned to Graham to start his medical practice. Dr. Tate was called back into active duty from 1952-54, serving on the front lines in Korea for over a year. As a result of his service, he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He truly loved his country.
Dr. Tate practiced medicine for 40 years before retiring in June 1992. He served as a family physician for thousands of patients in Alamance County, and in many cases, he was the physician for multiple generations. Dr. Tate carried his black medical bag wherever he went and yes, he made house calls, often with his children in the back seat of the car. He also went to the area mills annually to administer flu shots. Dr. Tate made "rounds" at the hospital daily, often twice a day. In the early years of his practice, Dr. Tate practiced obstetrics, delivering more than 2,400 babies in Alamance County. He meticulously kept a journal listing every baby, its mother, birth date, and weight. Caring for his patients brought him immense joy and satisfaction. He was a past President of the Alamance County Medical Society and past Chief of Staff of Alamance County Hospital.
Bunky was known for his dry sense of humor, mischievous smile, his kindness and compassion; above all, he was a good listener. He had a heart for service. Bunk was a loving husband, father and grandfather. His hobbies and interests included music, traveling, snow skiing and growing roses. A committed Tar Heel fan, he was a longtime UNC football and basketball season ticket holder.
Retirement brought the opportunity to pursue other interests. Bunky accepted the challenge of learning computers by attending classes at Alamance Community College. He enjoyed meeting weekly with the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out). In addition, he continued his life's mission of serving others by volunteering at Allied Churches and Meals on Wheels. Like his wife, Nora, Bunky was a fundraiser in his own right, raising a record amount for an individual in the Alamance County CROP Walk in the late 1980s.
Bunky and Nora moved into The Village at Brookwood when the community first opened. Dr. Tate was very active in the new community, serving as the first President of the Residents' Council.
Dr. Tate was preceded in death by his wife, Nora Lee Cook Tate; son, Allen Albright Tate; mother, Grace Laura Snyder Tate; father, Allen Denny Tate, Sr.; three sisters, Sarah Virginia Tate Bodein, Jean Murray Tate Thompson; and Grace Denny Tate Utley.
Survivors include his son, Dr. Denny Cook Tate and wife, Cynthia, of Burlington; daughter, Sallie Grace Tate and Ashley Louise Dotger of Davis, Calif.; three grandchildren, Katherine Grace Tate McGee and husband, MacGregor, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Elizabeth Ann Tate, and Allen Denny Tate III, both of Raleigh. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Also mourning his loss is special family member, Sarah Scurlock Rogers, of Pittsboro.
The Tates would like to thank Lacy Madkins for his generous care, compassion and service in assisting our father during the last four years of his life. More recently, Joyce Madkins and Claudia McClenny provided additional attention and support for which we are grateful. Lastly, the Tates thank all the nurses, aides, therapists, and other support staff of Windsor East for their attention to our father's needs over the last five and a half years.
The Great Physician has welcomed a great physician into His arms. The funeral service will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 11 a.m. at Graham Presbyterian Church with Dr. Steve Braswell officiating. Burial will follow at Pine Hill Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Dr. Denny Cook Tate (son), Allen Denny Tate III (grandson), MacGregor Lambert McGee, Lacy J. Madkins, and nephews, Dr. Stephen Irwin Moore III and Dr. Staley Cook Moore. The family will receive friends at Rich and Thompson Funeral Home, Burlington, on Monday, Oct. 15, from 5 until 8 p.m. and at other times at 216 Wexford Place, Burlington.
Memorials may be made to Graham Presbyterian Church - Music Fund, 216 W. Harden St., Graham, NC 27216, to Loaves & Fishes, 509 S. Lexington Ave., Burlington, NC 27215, or to Hospice of Alamance Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.
Condolences may be offered at www.richandthompson.com
Published in TheTimesNews.com from Oct. 14 to Oct. 15, 2012