HERMITAGE, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Salvatore J. Tate, 89, of Hermitage, passed away Wednesday, September 8, 2021, in his home.
Mr. Tate was born May 2, 1932, in Clymer, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Albert R. and Mary (Long) Tate.
He was a 1949 graduate of New Castle High School and attended Youngstown State University. He also earned an associate degree in arts and science from Penn State Shenango Valley Campus after he retired from full time employment.
Sal was employed from 1950 to 1994 as a union electrician, working out of the IBEW Local 712, Beaver, Pennsylvania.
He honorably served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, where he was stationed overseas for 15 months and achieved the rank of staff sergeant.
His wife, the former Barbara L. Thompson, whom he married November 25, 1956, passed away just four days prior to him, on September 4, 2021.
Sal had many passions, most revolving around sports, health and fitness. Sal served as a Hermitage Little League baseball manager coaching his sons and then as league president in the 1970s, where he instituted a mandatory playing rule change that ensured every team member would get to play at least an inning and have a batting opportunity. He actively campaigned and helped drive the effort to make the Little League park, all school grounds and youth playing fields a “smoke-free” environment, long before it became the norm.
He was a regular at the YMCA, where he liked to compete with high school students in basketball shooting contests. To their surprise, he normally won. He amassed a large collection of medals over many years of competing in the Senior Olympic Games, particularly in basketball. When not at the gym, you would likely find him jogging, kayaking, canoeing, or cross-country skiing in the winter.
He was a lifelong fan of Penn State and the Pittsburgh Steelers, through the good and bad years. During the really bad years, we bought him a foam brick that he could throw at the TV; it was a good investment. Sal also enjoyed traveling to California and Arizona where he would hike local mountains with his daughter and take in the beauty of the U.S. National Parks like Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Olympic.
He was very generous with his time, helping various organizations, friends and family with his electrical expertise and general mechanical abilities. Being a child of the depression, Sal’s “Mr. Fix it” personality started with the building of his own home in Hermitage during the 60s and continued with creative maintenance of tools, cars and appliances long after their expected lifespans. He was recycling and re-purposing decades before it was in vogue.
He is survived by a daughter, Brenda Schmalz and her husband, Robert, of Scottsdale, Arizona; two sons, Bradley Tate of Hermitage and James Tate and his wife, Tracy, of Apex, North Carolina; a son-in-law, Richard Gurrera; seven grandchildren, Ronald and Lukas Gurrera, Andrew and Hannah Tate, twins, Nicholas and Brian Schmalz and Zachary Schmalz; two sisters, Mary Lou Downing of Rock Hill, South Carolina and Susanne Sciacchitano, of Ocala, Florida and a brother, David Tate and his wife, Sandra, of North Canton, Ohio.
In addition to his parents and wife, Sal was preceded in death by a daughter, Cynthia Gurrera and three brothers, Albert, Donald and Mark Tate.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be directed to the Shenango Valley YMCA, 925 North Hermitage Road, Hermitage, PA 16148; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Due to Covid-19, there are no services at this time. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
An online video created for Sal and Barb’s 50th wedding anniversary can be viewed at www.BarbSalTate.com.
Arrangements are being handled by the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.
A television tribute will air Sunday, September 12, at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV.