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William Nelson Tate

January 15, 1942 ~ October 24, 2021 (age 79)


William Nelson Tate, 79, departed this life on Sunday, October 24, 2021. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Henry Burton Tate and Jessie Stewart Tate.

He was baptized as an infant at Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal Church in Cincinnati. It was there that he was educated in Christian knowledge and values. Bill participated regularly and energetically in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Junior Choir, the Methodist Youth Fellowship (M.Y.F.), Wednesday Night Prayer Services, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He was taught and mentored by several pastors and many of Mt. Zion’s teachers, counselors, musicians and members of the congregation.

After a while, Bill was reminded that his paternal great-grandfather, Rev. Henry Wister Tate, D.D., was a Methodist minister. Bill was inspired to follow in Rev. Tate’s footsteps of prominence and dedicated service.

Bill was a good student at Hoffman Elementary School and Samuel Ach Junior High where he met many friends.

These experiences carried him into his early teens and his first year of high school at Withrow High School as a 10th grader.

“Tatter,” as he was nicknamed at that time,  began years of competitiveness - running track, playing football and basketball. In addition, Bill played trumpet in the band, belonged to the Future Teachers of America, the Tiger Club, the Projection Crew and the Student Council.

Immediately, he began college at the University of Cincinnati after accomplishing and learning so much in his religious activities and primary education. He belonged to the Wesley Foundation, a Methodist Church youth group on college campuses.

He also became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Bill continued his affiliation with the Prince Hall Freemasons that he began as a youth.

In late 1962, Bill was Licensed to Preach in the Methodist Church. Although he was heading towards his goal of being a church leader, Bill chose another path.

He had the will to continue his education by earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a Major in Sociology.

After college, he was employed by the International Business Machine Corporation (IBM) in electric typewriters sales. He  married Ira Mae Edwards, who had a career in Nursing. Together they had two children, Cydney Renee Tate and William Burton Tate.

It was a major move for the family when they were transferred by IBM to Atlanta, Georgia for Bill’s next IBM assignment as a technology instructor for the National Urban League. Eventually he became a technologist for the Westin Hotel Corporation in Atlanta. Before he left Atlanta, Bill was introduced to motor coach driving.

When Bill returned to the Cincinnati area, he continued motor coach driving with Washington Limousine Service and Executive Transportation. His sense of humor was appreciated when he created “Big-Daddy of-Cincinnati.” He was very popular with that characterization of himself. He consistently had a generous portion of humor wherever he was. Meanwhile Bill was determined to create increasing economic empowerment and business development for the Black community. Working with a number of groups and individuals over the years he accomplished some of those goals. He always helped those who needed his help. Such a time was when Bill managed a residence for those transitioning from incarceration back into the community.

He was asked within the last six months before his passing, “When are you going to retire?” His response was, “What would I do?”

Helping those who needed his help was his life and legacy.

William was preceded in death by his father, Henry Burton Tate, Sr., and wife, Almarie Hudson Tate; his mother, Jessie Stewart Tate; the mother of his children and former wife, Ira Edwards Tate; his paternal grandmother, Hannah Riley Tate; his maternal grandparents, William Bryant Stewart and Ennis Jackson Stewart; his paternal uncle and wife, Robert Nelson Tate and Jessie Jackson Tate; his paternal aunt, Sienna Bowman and his maternal uncle, Clyde Cornelius Stewart and wives, Willie Shelton Stewart and Katie Lindsey Stewart.

William is survived by his daughter, Cydney Renee Tate; his son, William Burton Tate; his grandchildren: Jordan Ford (Timothy), Jarred Young, Jerron Rogers and Jace Tate and his great grandchildren: Azaria Williams, Lorenzo Love, Timothy Ford, Derrick Young and Tristan Ford.

Additional survivors include his sisters: Juanita Stewart Tate and Vickie Lynn Tate; his brother, Henry Burton Tate, Jr.; his step brother, Garry Leslie Tate and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, business associates and numerous friends.

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Walker Funeral Home is honored to serve the Tate family.  Please call 513.251.6200 or visit for additional information. 

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