Effective Saturday, March 13, 2021, there is another U.S. Marine guarding the streets of heaven. Sgt Maj Billy George "Kelly" Tate was born Aug. 7, 1926, in Parral, Ohio. Dad was married for 70 years to the love of his life, Mary Louise Antonelli (Lu). They raised 8 children: Cindi (Bob), Carol, Susan, Mike (Marilue), Mary Ellen, Kathy (Joe), Barbara (Darrell), Kelly (Kelley), and John. They've been blessed with 11 grandchildren (George, Ken, Joseph, Kate, Kelli, Shannon, Anthony, Emily, Sarah, Meghan, Kendall), and six great-grandchildren (Anthony, Aiden, Boomy, Tate, Bella, Jeremy, and Ryan). Sgt Maj Tate was preceded in death by his parents, George and Myrtle Tate, his sister, Betty Bartish; grandson, Anthony Peer and granddaughter, Emily Tudor. He is survived by a brother, Eugene Tate.
Dad served in WWII as an Army paratrooper. At the end of the war, he served for 20 years in the USMC and was stationed around the globe. He was a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, SC from 1964 - 1966 and was the Senior NCO in charge of the Marine Detachment on the guided missile cruiser, USS Columbus. Following retirement from the Marines, he started the first USMC JROTC unit at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, VA, teaching for 19 years until 1988.
He was an avid golfer and played as a member of the Oceana Swindlers. He was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as a past Grand Knight. He was also very active in Holy Spirit and St. Gregory the Great Catholic Parishes for many years.
Dad was proud of his Irish heritage, had a tremendous sense of humor, and kept us laughing even to the end. He was a loving husband, wonderful father, and above all - a very good man. We will miss him.
Go rest easy Dad. We'll take it from here. Just keep'em off of God's lawn. Semper Fi
The family will receive friends at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church on Thursday, Mar 18, 2021, from 10 to 11 a.m. The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Rosewood Memorial Park. Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Lynnhaven Chapel is assisting the family. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.hollomon-brown.com
Published by The Virginian-Pilot from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2021.