W. L. Pate Jr.
Did you know W.? Please share your stories and photos, and help spread the word about this page!
Wilbur Lee (W.L.) Pate, Jr., entered the world on July 20, 1948, in Beaumont, Texas as the second child and first-born son of Connie Marie and W.L. Pate, Sr. It was in a small, modest duplex on the corner of Magnolia and Live Oak where a 72-year fervent allegiance to the city, state, and country of his birth began. On Sunday, June 20, 2021, he completed his service to his community and nation and began anew in his heavenly home.
W.L. was a patriot who loved his country and believed that the United States, Texas, and Beaumont were worth fighting for through defending one's country, serving in the halls of government, and supporting your community. His patriotism and love for this country was nurtured by his father and grew with the years. He considered himself blessed to be an American, a Texan, and a citizen of Beaumont.
A U.S. Army Reserve veteran who served his nation for 27 years, he was inducted in 1967 as a private, and retired in 1994 as a Lieutenant Colonel. In 1969 he was commissioned as an infantry officer at Fort Benning, GA. In the years that followed, he served as an Artillery Battery Commander, a Headquarters Commandant for 75th Maneuver Area Command (the largest Army Reserve unit in the US), graduated from Command and General Staff College as a 30-year-old Captain in 1978, and became an Instructor for Command and General Staff College before retiring. Following his honorable discharge, he served his nation again on the Congressional Military Academy Selection Board for 3 Congressman, serving several years as Chairman. The enduring values of the United States Army - Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage were the hallmarks of his public and private life.
As a son of Beaumont, one of W.L.'s greatest joys was contributing to the welfare and needs of his neighbors and friends in his lifelong hometown. A 14-year city councilman and two-time mayor pro tem, his colleagues and fellow citizens considered him as one of Beaumont's biggest cheerleaders and ambassadors. As a successful businessman and entrepreneur, he was a tireless advocate for economic development within the community. He was a champion for Lamar University and the Cardinal Club, the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Foundation and Museum, and for downtown Beaumont. These are only a handful of organizations and businesses that W. L. promoted, supported, and served. In January of this year, W. L. represented Beaumont and the Babe Zaharias Foundation in Washington, DC and accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded posthumously to 'the Babe' by President Donald Trump.
His service to God, Country and Community will be his lasting legacy, along with the integrity, honor and duty that he instilled in those he loved and spent time with. His family remembers him as Bubba, a term of endearment that was bestowed by his 'sweet sister' Pat Pate Griffith. W. L. (Bubba) was that son, brother, father, uncle, nephew, cousin, and friend who always managed to maintain a positive and optimistic persona leaving one feeling appreciated and loved. He was famous for entertaining his audience with stories full of humor, humility, and that inevitable burst of wisdom. As he was known for saying on his Fox Forum radio show: "Tell 'em you got it straight from W. L. Pate."
W.L. recently posted a poem by Heartsill Wilson that his life emulated.
This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it,
Or use it for good.
What I do today is important,
Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes,
This day will be gone forever.
Leaving in its place
Something I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain not loss;
good not evil;
SUCCESS not failure;
In order that I shall not regret the price
I paid for it.
Survivors include his daughters Suzanne and Jennifer; his fianc?e, Sherrene Danks-Cook; mother of his daughters, Martha Brown Pate; brother Robert Pate (Sandy) and sister Pam Pate; nieces and nephews include Tamara Kelso (Kent), Pate Jones, Devin Riley, Rob Pate (Ashley) and Stefanie Williams; great nephews Paten Jones, Kaeden and Kellan Kelso, aunts Barbara Mattison and Bobbie Baggett and uncles Don Warren (Judith Johnston) and Pat Warren (Judi) along with numerous cousins.
W.L. was preceded in death by his parents, W.L. Sr. and Connie, and his sister Pat Pate Griffith.
A gathering of Mr. Pate's Family and Friends will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., June 24, 2021, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont. His funeral service will be 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 25, 2021, at One City Church, 2350 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, with Military Honors to follow. His interment will be at Houston National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Foundation, 2135 Brewton Circle, Beaumont, Texas 77706.
Friends & Family
Looks like something went wrong.
Reload the page and try again.