The Life of a Legend
Columbus Tate, affectionately known as ‘Jack’, was born on January 1, 1927, in Macon, Mississippi to the late Major and Caldonia Tate. At an early age, he moved to East St. Louis where he would find work until he became of age to enlist in the army. Columbus enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1945 until 1949 where he was stationed in Germany. He then reenlisted for the Korean War in 1950 until his honorable discharge in 1953.
Upon his return from the Army, Columbus went on to complete his GED at Hespec High School in West Point, Mississippi. He also obtained his operating engineering license. Columbus began his career in the Asphalt industry in Indianapolis, Indiana. He later moved to Benton Harbor and founded J & Son Asphalt becoming the first black owner of an asphalt company in the area. After many years of service, Columbus retired from J & Son Asphalt but always kept a side project to work on.
As a family man, Columbus would tell many stories about his former career. He loved to collect antique cars, travel, bowl, compete in Bid Whist tournaments, and play Phase 10 and Skip-Bo with family. He also had a true passion for fashion as he loved his suit and hat collection.
Columbus was baptized in Christ in 2014 at Lakeshore Church of Christ in South Haven, Michigan. Throughout his life, Columbus made an imprint on all that he came in contact with, whether it be a neighbor, friend, or relative, everybody knew & loved Jack and his distinct voice.
On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, after 93 years of a well-lived life, Columbus answered God’s call to return to his heavenly home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Major and Caldonia Tate; nine brothers: Vernon Tate, Magellan Tate, Samie Lee Tate, Willie James Tate, Samuel Tate, Earnest Tate, Leon Tate, Raymond Parker, Charles Parker and his eldest daughter Gloria Jean Tate-Martin.
Columbus leaves to cherish his fond memories: his loving wife Mozella; 7 children: Terry Rouse, of North Carolina; Vernon (Monica) Collier of Florida; Patrick (Ylonda) Tate, and Bethany Tate both of Tennessee; Aisha Blanks and Katisha (Duane) Atkins both of Benton Harbor, MI; Michael (Rachel) Blanks of Dayton, OH; 26 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren; 38 great-great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-great grandchild and two sister-in-law's: Martha Tate and Irene Parker, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
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