|Posted 2018-01-12 by Molly|
Casa Grande Dispatch (AZ) - Sunday, February 19, 2017
CHANDLER — Forrest Gale Tate, 90, died peacefully on Feb. 13, 2017, at his home in Chandler, surrounded by family and friends.
Mr. Tate was born in Chandler on Oct. 28, 1926, to Charles and Lesbia Tate, the youngest of five children. He graduated from Chandler High School in 1944. His father was the Chandler postmaster, which provided him the opportunity to work around the post office. He became determined to follow in his father's footsteps and make the Postal Service a life career. Once graduated, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1944, during World War II, and served honorably. He returned to find there would be no position available so he turned to what became his life career — the car business. Kirby-Simmons Motor Company hired him under the GI Bill as a parts department trainee.
He would later work for Indian School Auto Sales, Madison Motors, became a partner in Holiday Chevrolet, Berge Ford and finally Earnhardt Ford, where he made a lifelong friendship with Tex Earnhardt. He left Earnhardt's for the opportunity to own his own Ford dealership. Gene Hall of Hall Motors in Holbrook gave him that opportunity. In 1979 he and Linda purchased the dealership from Hall and later in 1987 he and his wife brought in the Chrysler franchises and it became Tate's Auto Center. In recent years, they acquired dealerships in Show Low, Winslow, Coolidge and Gallup, New Mexico. Tate's Auto Center was indeed a family business with most of his sons involved at different times along with his partner in business and life, Linda. He served on numerous automotive boards, including those for Ford's regional advertising and the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association for 12 years starting in 1982. He enjoyed family and friends and appreciated the loyalty of all with reference to his business and lifelong friendships.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years; four sons, Jim, Robert, Terry and Charles; two stepsons, David and Rick Berry; a stepdaughter, Cindy Berry; 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Memorial service at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 901 W. Erie St. in Chandler. Luncheon to celebrate his life following at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave. Visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, at Bueler Chandler Mortuary, 14 W. Hulet Drive.
Donations may be made to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or Chandler Service Club in its efforts to feed hungry schoolchildren.
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