William Homer Tate, described as the patriarch of the family overseeing a popular pumpkin farm in Meridianville, died Tuesday.
He was 95.
Tate was the owner of Tate Farms, a popular “pumpkin patch” known as a fall destination for school field trips and those seeking pumpkins for Halloween.
“Homer was a cornerstone in the agriculture community, deacon emeritus at Flint River Baptist Church, and had a servant’s heart for others,” a Facebook post by Tate Farms stated. “We are grieving as a family, but find great comfort that he is in God’s presence.”
Tate’s wife of 65 years, Jeanette, died in December 2020.
The Tates started in 1995 with a pumpkin patch of around five acres. A hay trailer pulled by a tractor ferried children around the patch.
The attraction later grew to 55 acres and what has been described as a mini-Pumpkin Disneyland, with a cotton jump, hay bale maze, corn cribs, animals, barnyard playground and general store. Visitors can get their own pumpkins, gourds and other items.
“The first year, people loved it and they have ever since,” Tate said in a 2007 interview with The Huntsville Times. “I’m just a cotton farmer having fun with this…This is play time for me.”
He then added, with a laugh, “Don’t say that; it’s a lot of work.”