William F. "Bill" Tate, retired realtor


— William Ferrell Tate, 84, who helped found Camp Lake Stephens, died Sept. 5, 2006, at Green Houses of Traceway.  

Services were held Sept. 8 at First United Methodist Church with burial in Glenwood Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bill Lyle, Pete Poland III, Mike Cooke, Alan Whitaker, Bert Lyle, Heyward Washburn, Greg Johnson and Hunter Cade. W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors of Tupelo handled arrangements. 

He was a member of First United Methodist Church where he served in numerous leadership capacities. He was instrumental in the opening and construction of Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford and continued his support throughout his life. 

A Tupelo native and life-long resident, he was born Aug. 29, 1922, to the late William Ezra and Jettie Marie Beasley Tate. He attended Columbia Military Academy and was a 1941 graduate of Tupelo High School. He then went on to the University of Mississippi and also attended Millsaps College. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the USS Haverfield. He began his business career in Tupelo as the owner of Tate’s Big Star grocery store.  

He began investing in real estate and then launched his own real estate firm, Tupelo Realty Company and later a second company, TRI. He was president of the Mississippi Association of Realtors in 1970 and was recognized as state Realtor of the Year in 1971. He was later elected to the Mississippi Realtor Hall of Fame. He was director of the National Association of Realtors and was vice-president of the Southeastern region. He was also a member of the International Association of Realtors. He was instrumental in bringing European investors into the state.  

Survivors include: wife, Sue McCormack Tate of Tupelo; daughters, Ellen Short of Tupelo and Becky Cade of Jackson; brother, O’Neil Tate of Montreat, N.C.; and four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.