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James "Jim" Tate

1963 - 2020
James "Jim" Tate Obituary
James "Jim" Tate
May 6, 1963 - March 4, 2020

Jim was born in Fitchburg, MA in 1963, and the world would never be the same. He made an impact wherever he went both through his unrelenting commitment to excellence in everything he did and through the people whose lives he touched along the way. Jim was an ambassador of goodwill and an inspiration to everyone he met.

A 1981 graduate of Fitchburg High School, he attended North Shore Community College for computer programming. He was a brilliant IT consultant for many companies, including radio station WEIM, Wayne Alarm in Lynn, MA and SIMS Software in Dallas, Texas.

Driven by his desire to help people in pain, Jim became a licensed massage therapist, studied reiki and did hospice work in the mid-2000s. He attended many workshops to grow his self-understanding and compassion for others. He always said: "My religion is kindness." He was an encyclopedia of 60s and 70s music and could recite lyrics from memory. A huge Looney Tunes fan, he would often quote cartoon character lines to make funny commentary on life situations. He faced ongoing heart issues, but rebounded through successful surgery in 2019. He encouraged everyone who struggled with obstacles to never give up.

Jim had diverse interests and traveled in many different circles, but his overriding passion was motorcycles.

Jim was a lifelong rider, and became a Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor in 2014, educating hundreds of new riders in multiple states. He also took classes to master riding at slow speeds. He participated in police riding competitions that were open to civilians and became part of a global competitive riding community. Jim quickly excelled, winning trophies all over the country. His pursuit of challenge never stopped. While still competing in motorcycle rodeos, Jim began training in Gymkhana Motorcycle skills and most recently took up the art of track racing.

More than winning, Jim loved the camaraderie of riding that brought people from every walk of life together in a shared passion. He was deeply committed to the charity work done by this community. Jim also enjoyed exploring the beauty of the earth through motorcycle touring: from short trips through New England to 2500 mile odysseys through the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smokey Mountains, to the California deserts and even Brazil. Jim's dream was to ride through all of the US National Parks.

Jim will be remembered by everyone who met him, including friends around the world too numerous to name, but he will be missed most of all by his beloved family: mother, Jane Tate of Fitchburg, MA; sister, Cher Tate, and cherished nieces, Allie and Zoey, of North Hampton, NH; his soul mate, Ann Hackett of Dallas, TX; uncle Edward Sparhawk and numerous cousins in Arizona: Sam (and Michelle) Fasano and children Leah Fasano (and Amanda) Queen and Kara (and Peter) Clay (and children Grayson, Landon, Beaumont and Lucy Clay); and Patti (and Steve) Slattery and children Janice (Aaron) Wolfe and Adria (Nash) Oliver (and Patti's 8 grandchildren who called him "Uncle Jim": Nathaniel, Ethan and Kathryn Wolfe and Elias, Jacob, Noah, Luke and Levi Oliver).

At Jim's request, a Celebration of Life memorial will be held in the fall (his favorite season), both in Boston and Dallas. His family will publish details at that time. In the meantime, donations may be made in his memory to Death with Dignity Massachusetts; Everflowing Hospice Care (www.everflowing.org); or any no-kill animal shelter.

Jim left final words to share: "Ask folks who knew me to do something kind for someone they don't know, in memory of me. And pass it on. Have some waffles at Waffle House. Go to Dairy Queen, get a Blizzard. Do silly things, attract attention, cry and laugh! Live out Loud."
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Mar. 15, 2020
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