Cover photo for Richard Dean Tate's Obituary
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1933 Richard 2017

Richard Dean Tate

November 30, 1933 — May 14, 2017

Richard Dean Tate died May 14 surrounded by his family at his home in Boulder, after a very brief battle with lung cancer. He was 82.

Richard, who went by Dick, was first and foremost, a man who loved his family and everyone remembers his distinctive, hearty laugh: “Kee-kee-kee-kee-kee!”

Dick was born Aug. 11, 1934 in New Philadelphia, Ohio to Penfield Tate and Vera Jane Houston Tate. The third oldest of nine children, he always adored spending time with his siblings. He graduated from New Philadelphia High School, where he earned a football scholarship to attend Kent State University.

He loved to tell people he was a “jock,” and with good reason. A stellar offensive and defensive lineman beginning in junior high, he recovered a fumble on the goal line during a game giving the New Philly Quakers their first and only undefeated season. Dick was a member of the Kent State Golden Flashes football team that played the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens in the 1954 Refrigerator Bowl and was named to the school’s sports hall of fame in 2015.

Dick was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1957-59 before returning to Kent State to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1960. He served in the Ohio National Guard from 1960-66.

He married Sarah Pauline Davenport in 1962 in Cleveland. In 1968, the couple moved to Boulder, where Dick enrolled in the University of Colorado law school.

After earning his law degree in 1971, he went to work as a patent attorney for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Denver, where he worked for the next 35 years.

For more than half century, he carried on the Tate tradition of dedicating himself to the cause of civil rights.  He tirelessly worked on behalf of various civil rights initiatives including helping to bring both Head Start and the Urban League to Boulder and serving on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for many years. In later years, he served on the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging.

Working in his vegetable garden was one of his great joys and he was proud of the fact that he grew fresh vegetables for his family to eat. Dick also had a passion for fishing. Many was the day he’d get home from work at 4:30 p.m., eat dinner, grab his poles and head out to the Boulder Reservoir or Estes Park on the hunt for trout.

Dick’s faith was deeply important to him, and he was a member of Boulder’s Second Baptist Church.

He is survived by his four daughters, Lydia Marie Tate of Boulder, Channing Elizabeth Tate of Boulder; Amber Satoye Tate-Bird of Broomfield, and Kimbir Ann Tate of San Francisco; a brother, Dale B. Tate and his wife Frances of Atlanta; two sisters, Yvonne M. Tate of Seattle and Casandra (Diane) Tate-Belton of Denver; and two grandchildren, Colby and Logan Bird of Broomfield.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah Pauline Tate; a daughter, Erica Louise Tate; three brothers; and two sisters.

Private family graveside services will be held at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver. Military Honors will be provided by the United States Army.

A memorial service will be held at Second Baptist Church, 5300 Baseline Road, Boulder, Colorado 80303 with Pastor James Ray officiating, at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2017. A reception will follow the service at the church.
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