Tribute for William R. Cate | Bright Funeral Home
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William R. Cate

December 1, 1933 ~ October 18, 2019 (age 85)

William R. Cate age 85, died Friday, October 18, 2019. Bill was born December 1, 1933 in Watts Hospital, Durham, NC. His parents were Kemp S. and Anna P. Cate.  He grew up in Chapel Hill.   

Bill graduated from Oak Ridge Military Academy, Oak Ridge, NC in 1952.  He was on the honor roll, Gold Star Drill Platoon, Glee Club, tennis team and rifle team.  He worked at the infirmary to help pay for his schooling.   

He entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1952.  In 1954, he entered the Army, graduated from Fuel and Electric School at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD and was stationed in Baumholder, Germany.  He returned to school at UNC in 1956 and continued to serve in the Army Reserve becoming First Sergeant for the 108th Infantry Division Artillery unit in Durham.  He graduated from UNC with a BS degree in Marketing in 1959. Bill paid for most of his education by working at various stores in Chapel Hill, as a freelance photographer, and at Wooten Moulton Studio. 

In 1959, he married Joyce Ann Marshall and went to work as a Communications Consultant in the Marketing Department for General Telephone Company of the Southeast in Durham.  The company moved him and Joyce to Moultrie, GA in 1964 to take the position of Commercial and Marketing Manager for the Georgia Division. Under his leadership, the Georgia Division led all 21 operating General Telephone Companies in Commercial Operations, Marketing and various office programs for five years. 

The Company moved him back to the General Office in Durham in in 1969 where he oversaw training and practices, worked on various study teams and consolidated offices to service centers and repair centers. He retired in 1987. 

Bill helped establish the Durham Power Squadron in 1962. He served as Secretary, taught numerous classes in Piloting ad Seamanship and was a Senior Member for many years.  He was a member of the Vance County Wildlife Club which operated Townsville Landing for many years.  He served as President and on the Board of Directors. 

Bill and Joyce moved to their new home at Kerr Lake in 1991. He enjoyed photography, boating, fishing, reloading ammunition and target shooting with cast lead bullets. 

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Ann Marshall Cate, daughters, Sandra C. Henkel and husband William R. Henkel, their two daughters Leah and Rebekah and Jane C. Mitchell and husband Robert R. Mitchell and their two daughters, Emily and husband, Drew Robinson, and Anna (Annie), and husband, Grant Swigart. 

A private service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the charity of your choice. A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S Main St. Wake Forest, NC 27587.

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