John William (Bill) Tate Jr. arrived as a blessing to his parents and all who would meet and come to know him throughout his 86 years. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at his home in Sharpsburg, Ga. on October 3, 2017.
He was born in Atlanta, Ga. March 6, 1931 to parents, John William Tate and Stella McEachern Tate. Growing up on a farm in Fayette County, Ga., with two loving sisters, countless cousins and other relatives formed his life-long commitment to the importance of family. He graduated Valedictorian of the Fayette County High School in the class of 1948, where he excelled in basketball, student leadership, and also worked at Arnall’s Drug Store. From a young age, he dreamed of attending the Georgia Institute of Technology. He achieved this dream, graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree. He was a student co-op with the Georgia Power Company, member of Army ROTC, active in the Baptist Student Union, and Atlanta’s First Baptist Church, where he met his former wife, Betty Dabbs Tate.
Upon graduation, he entered the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant stationed at Fort Monmouth, N. J. He began his long and distinguished Georgia Power career in Columbus, Georgia after completing military service. He rose through the ranks of Georgia Power receiving promotions and living and working in the Rome, Columbus, and Atlanta communities. Bill remains highly respected and admired by those he encountered in his professional, civic, and personal life.
Over the years, he held memberships in the Exchange and Civitan Clubs, Green Island Country Club, Cannongate Golf and Country Club, and the Manufacturers Utility Golf Society (MUGS). Bill is best remembered for his commitment to God, steadfast faith and service to all congregations where he was privileged to be a member. He has served as a Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, Lay Leader, choir member, and for many years “Chef Extraordinaire” for Fayetteville’s Ebenezer United Methodist Church’s men’s breakfast and church gatherings. He was most proud of his children and grandchildren. Known as “Poppy” to his grandchildren, he was an enthusiastic and supportive grandfather attending as many sporting and school events as possible in the Atlanta and Savannah areas.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his former wife, Betty Dabbs Tate; and brother-in-laws, Ernie Bannister and Joe Lynch.
He is survived by daughters, Lee Ann Powell (Hoyt), Laura Crymes (Tom); grandchildren, Hoyt Powell III, Leah Powell, Tate Crymes, Madison Crymes, and Thomas Crymes, Jr. He is also survived by sisters, Joyce Tate Bannister, Janice Tate Lynch; sister-in-law, Patricia Dabbs Hackney (Howard); brother-in-law, Charles Dabbs; and many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Fayetteville First Baptist Church, 205 East Stonewall Ave Fayetteville, Ga. He laid-in-state beginning at 10:30 a.m. Burial followed at Camp Memorial Cemetery, Fayetteville, followed by a luncheon and celebration of Bill’s life at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 680 Ebenezer Church Road, Fayetteville. The family received friends on Friday, October 6, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. at Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, 180 N. Jeff Davis Drive Fayetteville, Ga.
The family wishes to express much love and appreciation to caregiver, Sonia King, for her amazing spirit and Godly compassion. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to carry on Bill’s support of the Ebenezer Church Cemetery may make donations to the Ebenezer Cemetery Fund, PO Box 1417, Fayetteville, Ga. 30214.