SALEM — Leon Tate, 82, of Salem, Illinois passed away Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, IL.
Leon was born on May 16, 1938, in Jefferson County, Illinois to Rev Ernie Tate and Pansy (Cooper) Tate. He married Dora Knight on May 18, 1956, at Marlow General Baptist Church with his father officiating. They were blessed with 64 years of marriage. In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by three children; Robert Leon Tate Jr. “Bob” of Salem, Kathy Meador and husband Rick of Salem, and Jerry Tate and wife Lavonda of Effingham. He is also survived by seven grandchildren; Stephanie Thomas and husband Tyson of Granite City, IL Brian Tate of Salem, IL Andy Tate and wife Becky of Effingham, IL, Jordan Tate and wife Jordyn of Effingham, IL Anson Meador and wife Morgan of Jacksonville, AR, Phillip Meador and wife Linny of Salem, IL and Daniel Meador and wife Dawna of Salem. IL. Leon had four great-grandchildren; Henley Thomas, Margot Thomas, Cameron Tate, and Jayden Tate. He is also survived by his sister Hilda “June” Jones of Urbana, IL and several nieces and nephews.
Leon had a lifelong career in aviation that began at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport in Mt Vernon IL, where he began his training for an A & P Mechanic and received his private pilot license. He worked in several airports in Southern Illinois. He started Tateâ€™s Flying Service, Inc. with his wife in Carmi, IL in 1976. He expanded Tate’s Flying Service, Inc to include FBOs in Effingham, Salem, and Carbondale. His accomplishments include Commercial Pilot’s License, Flight Instructor, Multi-Engine Rating, Instrument Flight Rating and an IA designation. He enjoyed flying and airplanes and was able to make it into a successful career.
Leon was a member of the Salem First Baptist Church, Salem IL.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 2, 2021, at the Salem First Baptist Church, 721 W. Main, Salem IL.
Visiting hours will be from 6-8 p.m., on Thursday at the First Baptist Church at the church, and from 9 a.m. until the service hour on Friday. It is important to wear a mask and respect social distancing in accordance with the CDC and State of Illinois Phase 4 Revitalization guidelines. Masks will be made available by the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Union Chapel Cemetery, Texico, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Salem First Baptist Church, Salem IL or Marlow General Baptist Church and will be accepted by the Sutherland-Rankin Funeral Home, 310 N. Broadway, P.O. Box 97, Salem, IL 62881 618-548-1234, entrusted with the family’s care.