Cover photo for Mary Lou Tate's Obituary
Mary Lou Tate Profile Photo
In Memory Of
Mary Lou Tate
1937 2024

Mary Lou Tate

October 5, 1937 — May 16, 2024

Mary Lou was born in Oakland, California, where she grew up with her father, James E. Marrah, mother Elsie C. Marrah (Wunschel) and younger sister Barbara. Mary Lou graduated from Fremont High School in 1955. She was 17 years old and met a U.S. Navy sailor-Kentucky hillbilly stationed in Alameda named Bobby Tate. After much shenanigans and a short courtship, Mary Lou, barely legal, married Bob in January 1956. They moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where they began their life together. In 1966, Bob and Mary Lou moved outside of Louisville to the country, east of Middletown, Kentucky, where they raised a garden and three children: David, Mary Lynn, and Steven.

Mary Lou was an independent contractor for the Courier Journal and Louisville Times as a hardworking newspaper carrier, driving her van hauling bundles of newspapers to local small paper route carriers. She also had a rural delivery route, placing the rolled-up afternoon newspaper in each customer’s paper box at the end of their driveway no matter how hot, rainy, or snowy it was. Mom delivered every paper on her route the day of the historical tornado in Louisville, April 3, 1974. After her route each day, mom made delicious dinners of fried chicken, salisbury steak, the noodle dish and was adamant about serving vegetables, usually beets or green beans from the garden, iced tea and so many good things. Mom was a great cook.

Mary Lou raised her family in Kentucky and Kentucky was her home, but California stayed in her heart. She lived for summer visits from her mom, making everyone clean the house inside and out before “granny” came to visit. Mary Lou was a dedicated daughter and often talked about her mom and dad. Hon loved spending time with her grandkids and buying them outfits and toys. She also enjoyed several tour-trips to Europe where she met her dear friend Hillary. Mom hated eggs, loved her cat Telly, was an incredibly hard worker, never put herself first, and enjoyed staying up late talking to Steven. Mom was always beautiful. Lancôme was her friend but she was even more beautiful the last 10 years of her life without makeup. And always, no exception, Mary Lou was late to everything.

Mary Lou is survived by her amazing husband, still a hillbilly, of 68 years, Bob; oldest son David, daughter-in-law Shelia, daughter Mary Lynn, and son-in-law Tom Cuff. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Shelly (Mike), Savannah, Bryce, William, Jack (Derya), Haley, great-grandson Sam, and her sister Barbara. Mary Lou is preceded in death by her parents and youngest son, Steven. We will miss you deep in our hearts, mom. You did everything for us and we will smile with memories of you.

A memorial service will be announced. To leave an online condolence, please click, 'Share Memories."
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