John William Cate passed away peacefully February 25, 2021 at the age of 79 in the comfort of his home in Maryville, Tennessee surrounded by loved ones. For all those who knew John well he left this earth on his terms just as he had done everything else in his life. He fought a courageous fight with AML leukemia and the Lord was ready for him on this day. A Maryville native, John was born July 15, 1941 and was the son of William (Bill) and Evelyn Cate. As a young boy John was baptized at First Baptist Church of Maryville. The Cate family was heavily invested in the Blount County Community as his father owned the J&K Grocery Store on West Broadway. John was a graduate of the Maryville High School class of 1959 and lettered in both baseball and basketball during his years as a Rebel. He proudly attended Lincoln Memorial University to continue both his athletic career as a member of the Railsplitter Baseball Team and his education. He graduated from LMU with a Bachelor’s degree in education. John began his teaching career at Etowah High School in 1963 and retired from William Blount High School thirty-three years later. John was blessed with a tremendous work ethic and a competitive soul. These traits he instilled in his players for years as he transitioned from a teacher into “Coach Cate.” John was the Girls Basketball Coach at Etowah High School from 1963-1966. To his final day this team of girls held such a special place in his heart. His coaching career expanded as he was the Golf Coach at both Everett High School and William Blount High School for numerous years. Following retirement, John’s passion for the game and continued involvement in Junior Golf throughout East Tennessee touched the lives of so many young athletes for years to come. He loved many things in his life but none more than his family. His wife Loretta of fifty-five years, son Wes, daughter Lori, and grandson Jonathan were the center of his world. Nothing made him prouder than for both of his children to love the game of golf as much as he did. John was preceded in death by his parents William (Bill) and Evelyn Cate and his brothers Thomas (Tom) Cate and Stephen Cate. The family will hold a private graveside service and then will receive friends April 10, 2021 at the outdoor pavilion at Grandview Cemetery from 1:00 to 3:00. Together we can all pay tribute to the man we love dearly the weekend of the Masters Golf Tournament. In lieu of flowers, John’s wishes were to please send donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, Smile Train, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Condolences and memories may be shared online @ SmithFuneralandCremation.com Maryville, 865-983-1000.
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