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Veteran Halifax supervisor, merchant dies at 94

Veteran Halifax County Supervisor O. B. “John” Tate of Sutherlin died Friday in Roman Eagle Memorial Home after a decline in health experienced over the past year. Tate was a member of the county board of supervisors for 30 years having first been elected in 1959 and serving until his retirement in 1989.

He also was a well-known merchant of the Elmo community for 46 years and was an active member of Arbor Baptist Church where he served as deacon, Sunday school superintendent, adult men’s teacher, clerk of the church and a church trustee.

A veteran of World War II, Tate was a life member of Disabled American Veterans.

He was engaged in three major battles during the war, and the campaigns Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe where he served with the 76th and Infantry Divisions.

He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Ribbon, European-African Middle-Eastern Service Ribbon. He was honorably discharged Tec: Sgt. 1st Battalion 304th in December of 1945.

In addition, he was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8243 and The Woodman of the World Unit 106, a member for 52 years of The Poquoson Tribe of Red Men, Number 124, a charter member of Wilson Memorial Ruritan Club (without missing a meeting), and he served on the board of directors of Oak Grove Residential Care, Inc. since 1960.

A past member of the board of directors of Dan River Mutual Fire Insurance Company for 35 years, he was elected president in 1991, and he also was a past member of the Southside Planning District Commission in Boydton.

Tate was born Aug. 4, 1916 in Pittsylvania County, the son of Charlie Abner Tate and Maggie Burgess Tate. He was educated in the Pittsylvania County Schools, and graduated from Dan River High School.

He is survived by his wife of the residence, Dottie Conner Tate; one daughter, Sandra T. Griffith and husband Bruce of Roanoke; one son, Bernard Tate of South Boston; one sister, Virginia Ford Yates of Richmond; and one grandson, Brian Griffith of Roanoke.

A celebration of life service for Tate will be held today at 2 p.m. from Arbor Baptist Church in Sutherlin with the Rev. Lawrence Garrett and the Rev. Larry Davis officiating.

Interment will be private.