Charles Harrison Cate of Granbury, 93, flew west Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 in Granbury. Service: 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, with a Rosary service at 7 p.m., at Wiley Funeral Home. Memorials: Mission Granbury.
Born Feb. 14, 1919, Charlie was a pilot for almost his entire life and always felt most at home in the sky. He proudly served in the Army Air Corps for six years and the reserves for 12 years, flying in the Pacific and Korea.
After the service, he flew for American Airlines as a captain for 30 years. Upon retirement from American and unwilling to give up his wings just yet, he continued flying for other carriers around the world for several more years. Charlie flew almost every type of plane from a Bi-plane to a 747 and everything in-between. When he finally did step out of the cockpit, Charlie continued in the field of aviation, training pilots at the American Airlines flight academy for another 24 years.
In addition to flying, he was always very involved in his community. He helped bring the Republican Party back to Hood County, serving as the county chairman for 10 years and was one of the founders of the Granbury 4th of July celebration and parade as well as the Enchanted Forest.
The only thing that could rival Charlie’s love of flying was his love of family. Charlie had eight children and more grandkids and great-grandkids than he could count. His happiest moments were always when family would get together and the house was filled with laughter.
He was married to his beloved wife, Jean, for 56 unforgettable years. She was the love of his life and he will always be hers. He always felt he was the richest man around because he was constantly surrounded by so much love. He will be missed, he will never be forgotten and will ALWAYS be loved.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, his daughter, Vera Minor, grandson, Jeff Gammell and great-granddaughter, Abigail Cate.
Survivors: Wife, Jean; children, Charlene Doley and husband, Allan, Charles Cate III and wife, Gwen, Tim Cate, David Cate and wife, Susan, James Cate and wife, Liana, Eileen Cate and partner, Dedra, Matthew Cate and wife, Rhodi, Nicole Riggio and husband, T.J., Michelle Streiff and husband, Adrick; grandchildren, Scott Gammell and wife, Debra, Chuck Cate and wife, Alicia, Brandon Cate and wife, Shelly, Trent Cate and fiance, Jen, Serena Cate, Myranda Cate, Elizabeth Cate, Kori Ellis and husband, Scott and T.J. Cate; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Wiley Funeral Home made arrangements.