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Willard Lavern Tate
(April 29, 1921 - January 1, 2013)

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Willard Lavern Tate

Willard L. Tate (91) of Hart, died in the care of Harbor Hospice on Tuesday, January 1, 2013, in Pentwater. He was born in Elbridge on April 29, 1921 to Russell and Gertha (Eisenlohr) Tate. Willard graduated from Hart High School in 1941. On October 9, 1943, he married Stella (Bray) Tate in Hart. They were married for 66 years. He worked with his father and brothers on the Tate Orchards until his later years. Willard worked at Teledyne Motors in Muskegon for 30 years before retiring in 1982. Willard was a member of St. Gregory Catholic Church, was an active member of the Ludington Elks, serving as the chaplain on their competitive State team. He was also Commodore of Pentwater Yacht Club, a volunteer for the Hart-Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce Information Booth and the Hart Historic District. He donated his 1931 restored Ford truck to the Historic district for use in parades and as part of their vehicle collection. While in Florida, he was an active volunteer for the St. Clement Catholic Church and hulled strawberries for many years for the Strawberry Festival in Plant City. He is survived by two daughters, Shari (Bill) Cookenmaster, Lynnette Cavazos and friend Denny Owens; special granddaughter, Sara (Jarrett) Moleski-Rice, and great-grandchildren, Tatum and Alex of Brighton; grandson, Nick (Michele) Moleski and great-grandchildren, Jackson and Elaina of Kalamazoo; one sister Joyce (Paul) Anderson of Pentwater; three brothers, Harold (Frances) Tate of Hart, Jim (Nancy) Tate of Hart, and Dan Tate of Hart; special friend, Gayle Wilkie of Engadine; two sister-in-laws, Louise Miller of Muskegon and Eleanor Pavlic of Muskegon; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Willard was preceded in death by his wife, Stella, in 2010. The Mass of the Resurrection will be offered Monday, January 7, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Gregory Catholic Church with Father Phillip Sliwinski presiding. Interment will be in Hart Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 5-8 p.m. at the King Funeral Home where the Rosary will be recited at 5:00 p.m. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to Harbor Hospice, 1050 West Western Avenue Suite 400, Muskegon, MI 49441 or to Oceana Council on Aging, 621 East Main Street, Hart, MI 49420.

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