HAMPTSTEAD — David James Pate, 72, passed peacefully into heaven Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, with his wife at his side at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
David was born in Goldsboro, Wayne County, the only child to Ernest James Pate and Evelyn Head Pate. He graduated Goldsboro High School. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Ramey AFB-Puerto Rico. There, he was an air traffic controller and later joined AFRTS Radio.
After his Air Force years, he obtained his Associate of Applied Science in Business Technology from Wayne Community College. Going forward to Appalachian State University in Boone to earn his Bachelor of Technology, (cum laude). While at Appalachian, he also earned his Master of Arts in Adult Education. At Appalachian State, he was a member of the Gamma Beta Phi Society. He was also a member of Outstanding Young Men of America during this time.
He joined Craven Community College after graduation as a director for their satellite campus at Cherry Point Marine Base, Havelock. Working with the U.S. Marines was always an honor to him. Eight years later, he joined Cape Fear Community College as their director of admissions. David retired in 2008 from the Employment Security Commission and the state of North Carolina. He always said he either put students in classes or into jobs. He took time to get to know his students so he could save them time and money with their education.
Dave and his wife, Kathy met in Atlanta, Georgia, and were married in 1971. She spent 2 of his 3 ½ years in the Air Force as the base dental hygienist. Their 50th anniversary was to be Sept. 5, 2021. They have no children, but David always considered his students that he counseled and the children of the Boys and Girls Homes at Lake Waccamaw to be his children. Being a civilian for 40 years, he worked through this organization to help the boys and girls of need in North Carolina.
David was a huge model railroad enthusiast. He watched videos of trains, went to railroad yards to watch trains and collected N Scale rolling stock for the Jacksonville, Florida, area he was modeling. He even loved to get stopped by a train at railroad crossings so he could watch the cars as they rolled by.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest James Pate and Evelyn Head pate of Wayne County; maternal grandparents, Zeb Head and Clyde Ginn Head of Greene County; and paternal grandmother, Kate Jackson Pate of Wayne County.
After retiring, David took the 2015 Master Gardener Class with his wife at the New Hanover County Arboretum. He helped with propagation for the April plant sales and at the remote plant clinic at The Tital Creek Market. He felt a good soil test was the foundation to good healthy plants and their needs.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 7, at Hampstead Baptist Church. The family will receive friends at the church from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to services. Burial will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens, Wilmington.
The family would like to express a special note of thanks to all the doctors and nurses at New Hanover Regional Medical Center, especially those in the ICU, for their care during Mr. Pate’s illness.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina, P.O. BOX 127, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450; or Hampstead Baptist Church, Senior Ministry, 67 Factory Road, Hampstead, NC 28443.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.