Jimmy Tate is a lifelong resident of Erath County, living most of his life in the Huckabay community and graduating from Huckabay High School. His family has always been interested in sports, especially basketball, a game that he and his sisters played and that his brother managed. His uncle, Col. Willie Tate was an outstanding player for Tarleton and the University of Texas several year ago, and other members of the Tate family have been basketball players and coaches through the years.
Tate became a teacher as so many of his family members have done and coached at Lipan and Dublin after receiving his teaching degree. One morning in May of 2006, Tate realized that a little sore on the bottom of a middle toe was something more than just an aggravation. He had treated it as an inconvenience until the, but this particular morning the pain was beginning to get on his nerves, so he went to the emergency room at Harris Methodist Erath County to see what could be done about the constant throbbing that kept him from seeing about his cows and going about his business and kept him awake at night.
What the surgeon told him was hard to swallow. The situation was extremely serious. The infection was bad, and in fact, amputation of the left foot and part of the leg would have to be performed immediately in order to save Tate's life.
“They said that I woke enough to sign the papers,” Tate said, “and my wife and daughter were there as were my sister and brother. After the surgery, it was just try and get better. The complication with my foot was because I had diabetes but I didn't know that then. Now I battle daily to keep that under control and so far I am doing very well.”
At first Tate was in a wheelchair, and then was fitted with an artificial foot and partial leg, but adjustments needed to be made regularly because of the change in leg structure. Eventually, he went to Abilene Rehab Center where the technicians there were able to fit him with a comfortable piece so that he can continue his teaching career at Dublin Junior High School.
Tate is volleyball coach at Dublin Junior High among other teaching duties. He rides from class to class in an electric scooter but is able to walk short distances without the aid of a cane and takes care of his cows and goats at his farm in Lipan.
“The team at Abilene Rehab made it possible for me to walk pain free and I am grateful for that. They have not sent me a bill for their care and for the help they have given me. I am grateful for all their help and this year I will send some of my goats to the auction at the Stephenville Cattle Company on October 24th for the Cattlemen's Roundup so that others might receive the help that I have had. We know that the money raised here stays local and that is important to me,” Tate said.