Frank Tate – the kindest, brightest man I’ve ever known – was born in Tuscola, Illinois, in 1916. He died comfortably, peacefully, in Carson City, Nevada, on Dec. 24, 2004. His final words to me were, “Don, quit fussing over me and get about your duties.”
Frank was an educator of the highest order. In over 40 years, I never heard him say a discouraging word about anyone. Ever. His gentle guidance, often delivered with humor, provided a foundation of knowledge and confidence to hundreds of young people trying to find their way in the turbulent 1960s and beyond.
I still miss Frank, particularly on disquieting days. Then I reflect on his final message to me. We all have the opportunity and the responsibility to “get about our duties” and play a positive role in the lives of those around us.
Frank’s spirit lives on.
I just need to get busy doing the important things in my life.