American Veteran 04

Ralph L. Tate

February 20, 1935 ~ December 14, 2021 (age 86)


Ralph L. Tate

February 20, 1935 - December 14, 2021


Ralph L. Tate, 86, formerly of Findlay, Fostoria, Bowling Green, Deshler and Leipsic, Ohio passed away Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at The Meadows of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ohio. 

Ralph was born February 20th, 1935, in Findlay, Ohio to the late Wilbur and Ada Marie (Holman) Tate.

Survivors also include five sons and one daughter, Stephen (and Staci) Tate, of Pearland, Texas, Adam Tate of Youngstown, Ohio, Alex Tate of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Pamela (and Stanley) (Tate) Stewart, Bryan Tate, and Kevin Tate of Spartanburg, South Carolina; Fourteen Grandchildren; two brothers: John (and Debbie) Tate of Fostoria, Ohio, and James Tate of Millbury, Ohio, and one sister, Jackie (Tate) Russell, of Findlay, Ohio. 

He was preceded in death by the following three wives, Sarah (Cochran) Tate, Dorothy (Johnson) Tate, and Elizabeth (Jones) Tate; stepson, William “Bill” Pinkney; stepdaughter, Gloria (and Howard) (Pinkney) Barnett-Brookins; daughter-in-law, Rose Tate; brother-in-law, James Russell, Sr.; and brothers, Wilbur, Jr (and Mamie), Lawrence, Malcom, and Robert Tate; three nephews, Tim Tate, Gordon “Skip” Jones, and Mark Butler; and one niece, Susan “Rene” (Tate) Whitfield.  

Ralph attended three years of high school, before dropping out of school to work full-time.  At the age of 9-years-old, Ralph learned to work and save money during his first job as a shoe-shine boy when he began working for Fred Adams (of Findlay, Ohio), whom he greatly admired and who owned his own shoe repair shop.  Mr. Adams was a mentor for Ralph and a positive father-figure.

At 18-years-old, Ralph enlisted in the US Air Force, serving from ’54-’57 as a Basic Airman, being stationed in Arizona and Colorado, and served in Korea.

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Ralph spent a couple of years traveling from Findlay, Toledo, and Columbus, Ohio to  Lansing, Michigan,  and, finally, to Tucson, Arizona.  At that time, there were shoe repair shops in most of these cities where he learned essential skills in order to provide for himself financially.

Ralph was a life-long learner, taking advantage of certifications that were offered by his employers, and teaching himself many additional skills.  Some of the areas where he either became certified or licensed included the following: Industrial Management, Material Handling, flying a turbo jet, mediation, and consultation.  He also had a pilot’s license.  In addition,  he learned the skills necessary to complete clock repairs, typed at 98 words per minute, did woodworking, cabinet making, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry, customizing motorcycles, and hand carving wooden decorations.

From the 1960’s through the late 1980’s, Ralph’s formal work history included employment at RCA in Findlay, Ohio, Eckrich Meat Packaging Company in Freemont, Ohio, Chrysler Casting in Fostoria, Ohio, and Rockwell International in Kenton, Ohio.  He also worked as a manager at the Sherman Hotel (previously the Ft. Findlay Hotel) in Findlay, Ohio.

From 1990 – 1997, Ralph was the maintenance person for the Bowling Green, Ohio office of the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services until he entered into retirement at the age of 65.

Church was always an important part of Ralph’s life.  He attended the African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Findlay, Ohio and also attended the Faith Chapel AME Church in Fostoria.  It wasn’t, however, until around 1988 that Ralph turned his life over to Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.

After his retirement, Ralph met Sarah when they were both working at the Cookie Factory in McComb, Ohio.  They were like two peas in a pod and had a friendship that was cemented in their faith.  While committed members of the New Beginnings United Methodist Church in Deshler, Ohio, they would often give testimonies of the places where they saw God at work.  Their home was a place where the two were always making things to give away to others.  Ralph, for example, was often making wood-carved/hand painted wall plaques of cartoon figures or crosses with people’s pictures in the center. He would give away these handmade carvings to people for their children or the Sunbeam Pre-School in Leipsic, Ohio or the Day Care center in Deshler, Ohio.  The couple frequently led Bible studies at the nursing home in Deshler, Ohio.

After Sarah’s death on April 7, 2015, Ralph continued to attend New Beginnings United Methodist Church, until his pastor, Rev. Ruth Carter-Crist was appointed to the Gilboa United Methodist Church in 2018 where he, subsequently, transferred his membership to be near someone that he trusted.  He gave generously to the children’s programs at the Gilboa church and was well-loved by that church’s membership.

Ralph entered the nursing home in March of 2021.  He had always said that keeping his mind and hands busy with woodworking and making things would help keep him young.  Nursing home life, however, didn’t afford him those opportunities.  Unfortunately, in November of 2021 Ralph tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, which accelerated his health problems and contributed to him going into hospice care.  Shortly thereafter, he died peacefully with Pastor Ruth by his side, singing spirituals and praying for him as he went on to be with the Lord in Glory. 

There will be a Memorial Service held on April 9th, 2022, at the Gilboa United Methodist Church at 11am with Rev. Carter-Crist officiating, followed by an interment at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Findlay, Ohio with full military honors.





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Memorial Service
April 9, 2022

11:00 AM
Gilboa United Methodist Church
102 Franklin Street
Gilboa, OH 45875
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins


Gilboa United Methodist Church
102 Franklin Street, Gilboa OH 45875
Tel: 1-419-456-3281

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