His gift was enthusiasm for life and teaching others to love history. He was loved as a father, husband, teacher and local historian. JB Tate entertained others with his home spawned stories and infectious laughter.
Born in Oklahoma and descended from early pioneers, JB grew up with the Osage Indians and became a life-long advocate for the Native American. In fact, he was appointed as Georgia’s first delegate to the Trail of Tears. As a founding member of the Georgia TOTA, he served as a dedicated advisor and active member of the Trail of Tears.
During his tenure as professor of American history at Kennesaw State University, JB was a favorite of students for his engaging lectures and field trips. After retiring as professor emeritus, he continued to lecture through the Etowah Valley Historical Society, serving as President and an advisor, and with the Elder Hostel program. His book “Sketches of Bartow County,” continues to provide a popular historical look at early Bartow.
He also contributed to many publications and was cited by other authors for his expertise. His many honors included EVHS’s Lifetime Achievement Award; KSU Continuing Education award; Star Teacher; CVB’s Entwisle Award for Lifetime Service for his many contributions to making Bartow a better place to live; and he also received an AJC honor resulting in a semester study at Harvard Business School.
JB was the second son to Stillman E. Tate (1907) and Margaret Landers Tate (1906), who was a child in the Oklahoma Indian Territory prior to statehood. JB was raised a staunch Methodist, but later became a member of Cartersville’s First Presbyterian Church. He is also predeceased by James Barry Tate, Jr. and the boys’ mother, Nan Danner.
Surviving family members are his wife Dianne Evans Tate, sons, John Danner Tate (Stephanie) and Robert Stillman Tate (fiancée Shefali). The four Tate grandsons, Tyler, Brandon, Jordan and Landon, carry on JB’s spirit of excellence. Also, surviving are brother Sidney Earl Tate (Barbara), brothers-in-law, Mike Evans (Debbie) and Tim Evans. A host of Evans family members and kids will miss a favorite uncle at family vacations.
Burial will be in the Bowman/Evans’ Cemetery in Rockwood, Tennessee with a Celebration of Life at Valley View Farm in Bartow County at a later date.
If you wish to honor JB’s love of local history, contributions may be made to Etowah Valley Historical Society at PO Box 1886, Cartersville, GA 30120. JB’s formal education was Northeastern, Peabody and UGA, but his legacy was the education of others.
He was inspiring to many. 1937- 2021