Carole Anne (Ruple) Tate, 74, of Decatur and Maricopa, Ariz., died peacefully in her sleep Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at her Maricopa residence.
Born Aug. 21, 1943, in Decatur, she was the youngest of eight children born to the late Charles and Mary Ruple.
Sisters Martha Louise Ruple, Patricia Hammingh, Trevalyn Marks and Dorothy Terborgh and brothers Charles “Jack” and James Ruple precede her in death.
Surviving are: her husband of 34 years, David Tate; two daughters, Susan (Gary) Losey and Lisa (Steve) McKeeby; and a son, Zachary Tate and friend, Bonner Doemling.
She was the proud Nana of five grandchildren: Greg Losey, Justin (Maria) Losey, Emily (Aaron) Field and Kelsey Mary and Nicholas McKeeby, while her most recent joy was a great-grandson, Bentley Field.
She is also survived by: a sister, Barbara (Tom) Vrhel of Marysville, Wash.; sister-in-laws, Kathy Ruple of Vandalia; Joanne Clark of Hart and Janet (Alan) Lawson of Big Rapids; brother-in-laws Brian (Michelle) Tate of Cedar Springs, John (Nancy) Tate of Hart and Bradley Clark of Hart and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Tate, a Southwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees member for 18 years, January 1991-Sept. 1, 2009, and board treasurer beginning in 2003, had the distinction of being the first person from the Van Buren portion of the SMC district to serve on the board. She was a 1975 SMC graduate.
Mrs. Tate earned her teaching certificate and bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in library science in 1977 and her master’s degree in library science from Western Michigan University in April 1981.
Mrs. Tate spent her career as a professional librarian, beginning in 1977 as audio-visual librarian for Portage Public Schools; children’s librarian and assistant director of the Van Buren County Library, 1978-85; Marcellus Public Schools librarian, 1985-89; Lakeshore Public Schools in Stevensville elementary and junior high librarian, 1989-98; and Decatur Public Schools media specialist, 1998-2005.
Carole was known for her kindness and generosity. She was everyone’s favorite friend and neighbor, delivering homemade cookies and well wishes to neighbors in Michigan and Arizona. She leaves many lifelong friends, including her special friend of 70 years, Mary Broekhuizen of Decatur.
Carole enjoyed gardening, baking and reading. She volunteered at public libraries in Michigan and Arizona, was an active lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church of Decatur and belonged to Journey Methodist Church in Maricopa.
A celebration of Carole’s life takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at Newell Chapel in Decatur.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Friday, Oct. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Van Buren District Library or to Southwestern Michigan College. Those wishing to send a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at www.newellchapel.com.