Tate William Walls born August 7, 1946 at the upper head waters of the Hiawassee River in Towns County, GA passed away Friday, November 25th, at the Northeast Medical Center in Gainesville, GA. Tate has gone home to be with his Mama and Daddy and Brothers Wayne and Ansel Walls and Nephew Anthony Shirley. The youngest of Charlie Cleveland Walls and Mamie Loyd Walls five children. He leaves behind his Sisters Sno Dell Walls Bryant (Robert) and Frances Walls Shirley (Allen) and sister-in-law Margie Walls (Ansel). He also leaves behind a niece Susan Shirley Root and nephews Michael Bryant, Greg Bryant and Russell Walls.
Tate loved the mountains and was in them as often as he could be until he was physically unable to walk the rugged “off the trail” terrain. He did not need a GPS to find his way. He was a MOUNTAIN MAN and knew his way around them as a person would know their own backyard. He seemed to know every gap, hollow and ridge line as well as the different types of rocks and plants found in the mountains of the Towns County area. In his heyday as well as in his later years of life he could out hike most others 10 to 15 years younger than himself. This ability to move freely about the mountains gave Tate the capacity to enjoy his love of hunting for Deer, Bear, Turkey, Hogs and especially ginseng during ginseng season. In Tate’s youth he loved to fish and his work at Smitty’s Boat Dock brought him into contact with many others who loved to fish which included local residents of Towns County as well as other fishermen from near and far away states. Tate became an unofficial fishing guide for many. They knew when they arrived in Hiawassee to go fishing that “Tater” would know where the fish were located and how to catch them. This was evident by the many photos of long stringers of crappie, bream, and bass caught by Tate. In the early 1970’s before Lake Chatuge was changed by the introduction of other species of bass Tate had a knack for catching small mouth bass in excess of 5 and 6 lbs. During this time it was also fun to watch as Tate would feed by hand a pet largemouth bass at Smitty’s Boat Dock nick named “Scaley”. In the early 1970’s a group of young Archology students visited Towns County to search for arrowheads and they soon found Tate to be an unofficial guide that knew the local farmers. In Tate’s later years he enjoyed wood working and making hand crafted walking sticks, wood bowls and rustic tables. He also did a little stone cutting and polishing. Tate enjoyed the life that God gave him here in the North Georgia Mountains. He enjoyed the many friends he accumulated over a life time here in Hiawassee and like to drop in and visit. You knew Tate was coming when you heard his truck coming down the road or pulling into your driveway. Tate was a character. To sit down with Tate and talk was a chance to experience a conversation with a Real Mountain Man. He enjoyed his friends and we know if he could he would like to say to you all thank you for being his friend. We know he enjoyed your company and treasured your friendships.
Pallbearers are Scott Bonner, Kirt Kinnsey, Dwayne Wood (Gator), Rex Coleman, Michael Bryant, Greg Bryant, Russell Walls, and Rex Walls. Honorary Pallbearers are Billy Harkins, Pat Coleman and Randy Queen.
Visitation: Sunday, November 27th, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Banister Funeral Home
Service: Monday, November 28th, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Banister Funeral Home with Rev. Brian Schmidt officiating.
Interment: Immediately following the service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Hiawassee, Georgia
Banister Funeral Home of Hiawassee, Georgia in charge of arrangements.