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Serving Opelika, Auburn, and Lee County since 1988



Madelyn Tillery Pate

June 1, 1920 ~ February 25, 2019 (age 98)

Wanda Madelyn Tillery Pate, age 98, passed away peacefully at her home in Beauregard, Alabama, on February 25th, 2019, of natural causes.  Mrs. Pate was born in Selma, Alabama, on June 1st 1920 and later moved to Birmingham with her family.  Mrs. Pate was seen by all who met her as a sweet lady, always with a smile on her face.  She will be missed by her family and all who knew her.

Mrs. Pate graduated Phillips High School in 1935.  She worked as an administrative assistant at Protective Life until she met her “Prince” and her future husband, Col. Bill Pate.

During their military life together they traveled the world and lived in many places including Newfoundland, Japan, The Philippines, and Hawaii.  She enjoyed military life being a superb hostess and was always involved in the ladies and garden clubs at each station.   After Col. Pate retired in the early Seventies, they moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and in 1976 they bought land in Beauregard, Alabama, built their dream home where they lived the remainder of their lives for 39 years, until he passed in December 2015.

Madelyn enjoyed many years at their family lake house located in South Sauty, near Guntersville, AL.  She enjoyed fishing and spending time on the water and sippin’ Martinis.

She was an avid Auburn fan and enjoyed many Auburn football games, attending games from the mid-1970s until the mid-1990s; she loved the Atlanta Braves, and rarely missed a televised game.

Her talents extended to playing the organ and piano, gardening, sewing, and knitting Christmas Stockings as beautiful keepsakes for her family.  She was a longtime member of the Mentor Club and The Retired Officers Association in the Auburn-Opelika area and a friend to many.

She is predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Col. Ernest Wilburn Pate.  She is also predeceased by her parents, John Richard Tillery and Wanda Presley Tillery, her sisters Catherine Lucille Tillery, Sadie Inez Tillery Lyerly and Cornelia Ruth Tillery Pate

Mrs. Pate is survived by their four sons, Mr. and Mrs. Kerry (Pamela) Pate, Mr. and Mrs. Steve (Anita) Pate, Mr. and Mrs. Doug (Leigh) Pate and Lt. Col. and Lt Col. Bob Pate (Kari).  She also leaves behind eight grandchildren:  Jon Pate (Ann Yates), Anna Pate Vanderbleek (Jared), Lindsey Pate Warren (Josh), Leah Pate Hartman (Michael), Elizabeth Pate, Carson Pate, Steven Pate and Davis Pate; as well as her great-grandchildren Mims Pate, Bennie Pate, Margot Vanderbleek and Ida Vanderbleek.

The family wants to thank Home Instead for creating a forever place of mom’s home and allowing her to fulfill her wish of living her life at the home she and Bill loved.  As well, we’d like to thank Hospice for ensuring that our mother was comfortable in the final weeks of her life.

A celebration of life service for Madelyn and Col. Pate will be held in the Chapel of Providence Baptist Church 2807 Lee Road 166, Opelika AL  36804 on Saturday, March 9th, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., officiated by Dr. Rusty J. Sowell –Senior Pastor.

In lieu of flowers, the Pate Family has requested that donations be made to The Beauregard Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 4013, Opelika, AL  36803, an organization Madelyn and Bill were dedicated to as founding members.

The service is reserved for family and her Care Takers (that became family!)

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