• Kenneth Pate with 2019 Marty Pate Scholarship recipients Hunter Fitts and Emily Wells.

Marty Pate Day is a celebration of life

Arriving at the Pate family cabin is truly a breathtaking moment. With a rustic cabin, sprawling pond, and geese gathering as if to say hello to all who enter, a warm invitation was extended.
This year marks the 25th annual gathering of friends and family, at the family cabin.  Marty Pate was known for his one-of-a-kind smile, joking attitude, and kind heart. He touched the lives of everyone he came into contact with. 
Despite the thunderstorms from earlier in the day, the sun brightly shined as if to commence the celebration. Inside the cabin, the deer Marty shot is displayed proudly on the wall, along with a collage of pictures of Marty to commemorate his life. 
A baseball game is playing on the television as guests mingle in and out admiring each souvenir. 
Linda, Marty’s mother, gave hugs to everyone who came, welcoming them with open arms. While Kenneth, Marty’s dad, gathered everyone around and thanked each person for attending. Marty’s brother, Cory, manned the grill, and sister, Pam, announced the recipients of the Marty Pate Scholarship 2019.  The recipients were selected for exuberating excellence in either academia or athletics. The four scholarship recipients were Hunter Fitts, Emily Wells, Kayden Wells, and Trent Wert. 
A very special baseball was presented to the nephews of Marty; Judson and Kinsler Pate. The presentation was extended by longtime friend, Robby Johnson. Johnson explained the importance of the baseball and how the ball was given to the boys in remembrance of Marty and the outstanding 2019 baseball team from Linden. The ball was signed by the coaches and all students who played in the state tournament. 
Johnson said, “Marty meant the world to me, and he would take me to do things and always made me feel special.”  
After the blessing was given,everyone was invited to eat a delectable family-style meal. Many baseball game stories were swapped, along with smiles and tears. In the distance, at the edge of the pond several children were playing baseball and skipping rocks, just as Marty would have wanted it.  
In the words of LaNell Lathem, “Let’s all remember Marty with a smile on his face, because he is still playing the game he loved so much. We can still see him playing in our hearts.”

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