Robert Reed Tate, age 81, of Luray, passed away on August 13 with his wife and daughters by his side.
He was born September 11, 1939 in Luray, Virginia and was the son of the late Manley Hypes and Laura Edmiston Tate. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Manley Hypes Tate, Jr. (Buddy) who died in infancy and brother, James E. Tate of Stanley, Virginia. His surviving family includes his wife Wanda Hinton Tate, daughter Karen Rucker and son-in-law Chris Rucker of Haymarket, VA, daughter Mary Katherine Rush and son-in-law, Dan Rush of Pinehurst, NC. Also, four grandchildren Karenna and Grace Friedl of Haymarket, VA and Laura and William Rush of Pinehurst, NC. Lastly his sister, Jane Benson of Richmond, VA.
Wanda and Reed were united in marriage on September 12, 1959.
Reed was a member of the Luray United Methodist Church, a member of the chancel choir and substitute organist and soloist for many weddings.
Reed graduated from Luray High School in 1957. In his senior year he was awarded the Arion Award, the oldest and most prestigious National Award for outstanding achievement by high school musicians. Upon graduation, he was employed with the Page Valley Bank, now Blue Ridge Bank for seven years. In 1964 he became the owner of Vivian’s Flower Shop and retired after 45 years. A highlight of his many years as a florist were the invitations to the White House in the years of 1973 and 1979 to assist with the Christmas decorations. He was one of 20 FTD florists in the nation to assist in decorating the White House. He was truly an artist in creating floral arrangements.
Reed was a past member of the Saturday Nite Supper Club and an original member who helped in the formation of the club.
Reed was the pianist for the Ambassador Dance Band and was a member of the Drum and Bugle Corp of Luray in the 1950s and 1960s. He received the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1968-69.
Reed proudly and honorably served in the United States Army from 1962-1968.
Reed was a member of the Luray Rotary Club since 1964, past president and a Paul Harris Fellow and was also their pianist. He became a sustaining member of the Rotary in recent years. He served with the Luray Park Association as secretary/treasurer and served on the Page Valley Bank Board from 1977 to 2009.
As a youngster he participated in numerous Lions Club shows. In 1957 Reed and Wanda were selected as winners of the Dr. Pepper Silver Dollar dancing contest on the TV show from Harrisonburg.
Reed was a well-known and indeed a colorful member of the community whose floral arrangements matched only by the carefully chosen wardrobe, his ever-present smile, never failing humor and warm and appreciative welcomes and conversations to all those he saw and served. He will be remembered for his many talents.
The family will be receiving friends at Bradley Funeral Home in Luray, Virginia from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 19, 2021. On Friday, August 20, 2021, a celebration of life service will be held at Luray United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. with Pastor Eric Bennett officiating.
Flowers are welcome and/or donations to the music department of Luray United Methodist Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Reed Tate, please visit our floral store.