He was the son of the late John Watson and Beulah Julian Cate. He grew up in Chatata Valley and had a deep abiding love for that corner of East Tennessee.
He was also preceded in death by four siblings: James B. Cate, Elizabeth Cate Manly, John W. Cate Jr. and Roseanne Cate Frazier.
He was a graduate of Bradley Central High School, class of 1940, and served in the U.S. Navy, Pacific Theater, during World War II.
Most of his working life was spent with the Southern Railway Co. He later worked with Service Insurance Agency and Frank White.
A man of deep religious convictions, he and his wife, Lela, practiced their beliefs over the years in numerous ways but especially by giving aid and safe haven to many young people, some of whom lived with them for months. He was not a seeker of the limelight, but nevertheless was not afraid to express his opinions when asked.
He was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lela Frances Ramsey Cate; three daughters: Paula Cate Varnell, Amanda Cate (Don) Willoughby, and Mollie Cate (Rusty) McAmis; five grandchildren: Mary Duff (Michael) McNulty, Paul McAmis, David Duff, Elizabeth McAmis, and Catherine Willoughby; sisters-in-law: Betty (Mitchell) Lyle and Mary Jernigan; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church with the memorial service immediately following.
Memorials may be sent to First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, Broad Street United Methodist Church, or to the charity of your choice.
You are encouraged to share a memory of Paul and/or your personal condolences with his family by visiting his memorial page at www.companionfunerals.com.
Companion Funeral & Cremation Service of Cleveland was honored to assist the Cate family with these arrangements.