Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thelma Pate

About two years ago, mom and I went on a trip to Georgia to research our ancestors. I was amazed to find that one of the descendants of my great-great-great-grandfather was still living on the family land. And that the home Oliver Gaines Barron built was still standing! This descendant was Thelma Pate. She was in her 90's, but still welcomed us into her home, shared stories and information with us and took us to see the homeplace. I will forever be grateful that I was able to spend that small bit of time with Thelma. I have thought of her often, hoping that one day I might get to go back and visit her again. I found out today that I won't get that opportunity this side of heaven. Thelma Pate went on to bigger and better things on Thursday, December 15, 2011.
Thelma Jackson Rooks Pate, 98, died December 15, 2011. She was born on June 24, 1913, in Campbell County, just across the Chattahoochee River from the County Line area of southeastern Carroll County where she lived all her life, other than a short time during World War II. 
Mrs. Pate was preceded in death by her husband, John Thomas “Jack” Pate, to whom she was married on November 16, 1940; her parents, Ernie and Eunice Camp Rooks; and a granddaughter, Brooke Jackson Pate. She is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, William Jackson “Bill” and Jean Smith Pate, John Daniel “Danny” and Judy Holloway Pate, and Larry Marvin and Jackie Bagwell Pate, all of Whitesburg. She also is survived by four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She also is survived by three sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law: Juanita Roberts of Ft. Walton Beach, Mary Jean Sims of Athens, and James Marvin and Earline Pate of Conyers, as well as nieces and nephews. 
Mrs. Pate was a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Whitesburg where she served as the church clerk for more than 30 years. She worked at the Whitesburg Election Polling Precinct and as Assistant Poll Manager for many years. Recognized for her knowledge of the history of southeastern Carroll County and for her work in genealogy, she often was consulted by historians and those searching for information about their ancestors. During World War II, Mrs. Pate worked at Bell Bomber Aircraft in Marietta as a “Rosie the Riveter.” 
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 1 PM from Antioch Missionary Baptist Church with Rev. Alvin Hunnicutt officiating. Music will be provided by the church choir and Judy Hunnicutt. The body will be placed in the church beginning at 12 noon until the service hour. 
Serving as pallbearers will be Wendell Carnes, Wilson Pate, Bobby Lenihan, Stephen Boyd, Danny Carnes, Jay Williford, Warren Daniell and Donald Strickland. Honorary pallbearers will be Reuben Boyd, Lawrence Vines and James Helton. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mrs. Pate to the Whitesburg Public Library Book Fund, Post Office Box 451, Whitesburg, Georgia 30185. Messages of condolences may be made to the family at Martin & Hightower Heritage Chapel of Carrollton has charge of the arrangements. 
Rest in peace, Thelma Pate.