Obituary: Charles A. ‘Chuck’ Tate

Charles A. ‘Chuck’ Tate
June 15, 1929~Feb. 16, 2009

Long-time Meeker resident, Charles A. “Chuck” Tate, passed away Feb. 16, 2009, at his home in Montrose, Colo. after a long battle with kidney disease.
Charles Tate was born on June 15, 1929, in Scott City, Kan., to Charles Hampton Tate and Viola Lucille (Hyman) Tate. He was the oldest of eight children. He attended grade school in Beloit, Kan.
Chuck’s parents moved the family to Hotchkiss, Colo., where he attended both junior high and high school and was graduated in 1948. After high school, he attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. for a short time, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1950. Stationed in the Korean War theatre, Chuck served as a hospital corpsman on two ships — the Landing Ship Tank 855 and the naval hospital ship, the USS Repose. While in the Navy, he visited ports in Korea, Japan, Hawaii and Hong Kong.
Upon discharge from the Navy in 1954, Chuck returned to WSC, where he met and married Marlene Kline in 1955. From this marriage came three sons and a daughter — Mike, Tracy, Lonnie and Darla. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1958 and completed his master’s degree in 1960.
Chuck’s first teaching position was in Meeker, Colo., where he stayed and taught junior high science for the next 30 years. He also coached football and wrestling. His greatest passion while in Meeker was wrestling. He coached his three sons and several grandchildren from the elementary “peewee” program through junior high and high school. He coached wrestling for more than 40 years.
Chuck was responsible for starting the elementary and peewee programs in Meeker along with the hunter safety program at the junior high school. He also initiated the fly tying classes, which were very popular among his students.
While striving to become a better educator, he attended several universities around the U.S. on national science foundation grants, including schools in Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado and New York.
Aside from his teaching career, Chuck also served many years on the Meeker Town Council and was a member of the Meeker Lions Club. He was also an avid elk hunter and fisherman, spending many hours in the mountains and streams of Colorado. Another of his hobbies was fly tying, tying literally thousands of flies and using the proceeds to buy shoes and pay the entry fees for wrestling camps and tournaments for those who couldn’t afford to. His top priority, however, has always been his family. He especially loved taking care of his grandchildren.
Survivors include three of his four children; Mike and wife Vicky of Meeker, Lonnie and wife Jody of Palisade, and Darla of Montrose; his nine grandchildren; Amanda Watson and husband Will stationed in Wichita, Kan., Kelsey Tate of Meeker, Chad Tate of Grand Junction, Howie Tate of Grand Junction, Marshall and Quincy Tate of Palisade, and Lindsey, Shelby and Landon Klinglesmith of Montrose. He is also survived by his three brothers; Jimmy Tate of Old Hickory, Tenn., Richard Tate of Silverton, Ore., Keith Tate of Martines, Calif., sister Patty Copeland of Bountiful, Utah, and many nieces and nephews.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Dale and Donnie, sister Jeannie, and his son Tracy.
A Charles Tate memorial fund has been set up at the Mountain Valley Bank, PO Box 781, Meeker, CO 81641. Contributions will be used to help support educational and youth programs.