By Lynn R. Mitchell
I never met Mrs. Tate but knew of her through a young local Republican activist and former chairman of the Staunton Republican Committee, Alex Davis, who has been friends with her grandson Graham since the two were in kindergarten (they are now 27 years old). The boys grew up in Staunton — Mrs. Tate’s son, William Lee Tate II, settled down and raised his family of three children in Staunton — but Mrs. Tate lived in southwestern Virginia’s Pulaski community where she grew up, married, and lived her entire life. She will be buried there on Sunday. Alex and Graham are pallbearers.
When I passed the word of Mrs. Tate’s passing to my daughter Katy, who was a weekend guest of Mrs. Tate’s several times but who now lives in Nashville, she said, “Oh, Da. What a sweetheart. Her house was full of treasures and an old, always-groaning Boston terrier. She will be very missed in the Tate households.”