In Memoriam: Juanita Tate
It is with great sadness that I report the death of member and friend Juanita Tate, aka Jennifer Stevens, age 75, on March 17, 2007. Juanita was sick for a short time. She was born as Juanita Dail Coss in Muskogee, Okla., on October 8, 1931. Her father was in the Navy and the family followed him to various Navy bases while he was on sea duty. Her father was killed in World War II. She met her future husband, John (Jack) Tate, at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. They were married in 1953 about four years after they met. She finished her education and obtained her nursing degree at Baylor University in Texas. After John served in the Army Chaplains Corps, they settled in the Chicago area. They moved to California in 1965. She continued her nursing career and their sons grew up and married there. In 1996, after retirement, she and John moved to Olympia, Wash. The old house, previously owned by her mother and stepfather, was razed after a flood in 1996, and son John built a new home for her stepfather. Juanita and John moved there to take care of her stepfather and landscape the acreage. Twelve acres were dedicated to reforestation and to balance her creative endeavors.
To this end she joined the Olympia Chapter of the ARS in 1997. She became an active member studying and learning about the native trees, shrubs and plants which gradually filled the area around her home. These included rhododendrons, azaleas, maples, birches and magnolias. She was interested in propagating methods and was always questioning her peers about species and newly introduced varieties. She also learned from the growers both in the Olympia Chapter and those she met on trips arranged by the chapter. She served in many capacities with the Olympia Chapter, including president, vice president and a board member-at-large. She had a ready smile and twinkle in her eyes, as well as an optimistic heart. She always took part in arranging the annual rhododendron show at Tumwater Falls Park, was an avid bidder at the chapters annual auction and participated in many chapter activities. Under her leadership and loving hands as president for two years, the chapter grew in membership. She will be sorely missed.
She is survived by her husband, Jack, and sons Dan and John and their families.