BEAUMONT, Texas — W.L Pate, a recent candidate for Beaumont mayor and longtime Beaumont councilman, died Sunday, June 20, 2021, due to complications from a rare lung disease, according to the city manager.
At his time of death, Pate was 73-years-old.
Pate served on the city council for 14 years and was known as one of Beaumont’s biggest cheerleaders and ambassadors.
Family, friends and the community are summing up W.L. Pate's legacy in one word, remarkable.
Funeral services for Pate will be held at 1 p.m. at One City Church on Friday, June 25, 2021, at 2350 Eastex Freeway in Beaumont with military honors to follow.
Councilman Mike Getz said the way Pate poured into this community is something he will never forget.
Getz also said serving with Pate was when the relationship between the two fostered, and that Pate took Getz under his wing and showed him the ropes.
Getz eventually came to look at Pate as a mentor, he said.
Pate’s death should remind everyone to love their loved ones while they are here, Getz said.
“It just shows you that life is precious,” he said. “We should take every day seriously because you just never know how much time you are given.”
Getz said that this was not only a tough loss for him but also for the Beaumont community.
Pate was elected to city council in 2007, the same year Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames was elected as mayor.
“I sat right beside him for 14 years,” Ames said. “He truly loved Beaumont, Lamar and Babe Zaharias. Rodney and I send our heartfelt condolences to his family.”.
Joseph Trahan, Jefferson County democratic chair, spent the day reflecting on Pate's legacy.
“I really noticed from our very first interaction that he was very much interested in not only promoting Beaumont, but he was also interested in learning about you and what you can offer to your community,” Trahan said.
The death of Pate saddened Trahan, he said.
“He will not be here to continue to witness and experience the hard work that he has put in over the last several decades,” he said.
Pate was an advocate for economic development.
“He was just an endless advocate for economic development for Lamar University, for the Babes Zaharias Museum and for development in town downtown Beaumont,” Trahan said.
Andy McCall, producer of Pate’s radio show back in 2003, said that Pate dying on Father’s Day is especially sad because Pate treated was a mentor to many..
“He would introduce me almost as if he was a proud father,” he said. “It makes this kind of interesting being Father’s Day and everything.”
Pate’s sudden death left many stunned.
“In all honesty, I kind of got a little emotional because I had no idea that he was that he had been ill,” McCall said.
The way Pate poured into this community is something McCall said he will never forget.
“Pate worked tirelessly for the community, and it is a huge, huge loss to have him gone now,” he said.
Family, friends and the community continue to mourn the loss of the hometown hero.
“Here’s the thing, we are going to miss him,” McCall said.
Services are pending with Broussard’s mortuary.
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