Life Story / Obituary
It is often said that if something is worth having, then it is worth working hard for and this is how Malcolm M. Pate, Jr. lived his life. To Malcolm, the things that were important were his faith in God, his marriage, his children and grandchildren, his education, and his work ethic, and if you closely examine his life, you will see that he strived to be the best he could possibly be in each one of these roles. Malcolm lived life to the fullest and gave all that he had to living it with integrity each and every day.
As the United States was celebrating a time of temporary peace and prosperity between the two world wars, Malcolm Pate, Sr. and his wife, Pansy (Fulgham), of Bonifay, Florida had a celebration of their own with the birth of their son, Malcolm, on February 19, 1924. Malcolm grew up in the quiet countryside of Bonifay on their large family farm with his two sisters, Louise and Virginia, and his brother, James. His family was proud of the English heritage and the children were raised with an appreciation of their history. Malcolm was a typical boy growing up – he loved to hunt and fish, search for arrowheads on their farm, he also loved music and started playing guitar when he was younger, particularly country and blue grass music. Later on in life Malcolm became a longtime member and leader of the Boy Scouts
After graduating high school in 1943, Malcolm followed the same patriotic calling of other young men of the time, and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He proudly served his country during World War II, seeing combat in France, Germany and Belgium. Malcolm also served for a year as a hospital and field medic. Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, Malcolm enrolled in engineering classes at the University of Florida for 2 years, and then completed Michigan Diesel Mechanic School in 1948.
Malcolm met the love of his life, Sybil Moss, at a pinochle game given by his landlady. The two fell hopelessly in love and were happily married on August 4, 1950, in Detroit, Michigan. For Malcolm, this was one of the greatest days of his life, a day he would cherish in his heart forever. It wasn’t long before Malcolm and Sybil filled the hearts and home with the joy and laughter of two wonderful children: Dennis and Linda. A true family man, Malcolm spent his life balancing hard work with being a devoted husband and father. He took great pride in his children’s accomplishments in life and made sure their education was always a top priority. His son, Dennis, was a graduate of law school in 2001, and proudly served in the U.S. Army for 20 years; while his daughter, Linda, was a 1979 graduate of Central Michigan University with a Science Major.
Besides being a devoted husband and father, Malcolm also worked for many several years in engineering and on associated projects at Continental Motors. Later, when the company became Teledyne Continental Motors, he worked as a Development Engineer for 37 ½ years before retiring in 1989. In association with his work, he was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Masonic Lodge as well as being active in the Boy Scouts of America Detroit Council Troop 792.
Having a strong family was always important to Malcolm. While he was dedicated to his career, he and Sybil, together with their children, created a deep-rooted and passionate family life. In their 57 ½ years of marriage, Malcolm and Sybil always put their family first, and worked together for the common good of their children. Malcolm had a tremendous giving spirit, and he spent a lifetime guiding and helping others. He touched many lives simply by having a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and uplifting words of encouragement. He was the first one to offer a helping hand to someone in need.
After Malcolm retired, he and Sybil could sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor. They took some time to travel, visiting Europe and the Hawaiian Islands. When at home, Sybil enjoyed tending to her flowers and garden and cooking for the family, while Malcolm helped her in these things, he also tended to repairs around the house. Being mechanically minded, he could do this with no problem. Malcolm also liked to put his fishing pole to good use every now and again, and play his guitar. As doting grandparents, he and Sybil loved spending time with their four grandchildren: Daniel, Leslie, Zacharie and Kohlton. Malcolm also had a soft spot for animals, especially when it came to his 16 year-old dog named Boots, and his 15 year-old cat named Susie.
Malcolm Pate loved his family and he will never be lost to them – for his special love lives on in their hearts and memories.
Mr. Malcolm M. Pate Jr., age 92, passed away Monday, September 26, 2016. He is survived by his son, Dennis W. (Linda) Pate of CA; daughter, Linda Quinn of Muskegon; grandchildren, Daniel (Courtney) Pate, Leslie Pate, Zacharie (Michelle) Quinn & Kohlton Quinn; brother, James Pate of Detroit; several nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sybil in 2006; sisters, Louise Graham & Virginia Durant.
A funeral service for Malcolm will take place on Saturday, October 1, 2016, 11:00 am at Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Rev. Ken Shady officiating and Military Honors under the Auspices of the the American Legion. Interment in Sunrise Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will take place on Friday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon. Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guest book.