Obituary of Roderick Tate
Roderick Tate (Reek) was born in Oakland California on June 21,1954 to Zelma Tate and
Oswald Jones. He is preceded in death by his Mother Zelma Tate, father Oswald Jones, Sister
Valoria Tate, Brother Gregory Tate, Son Jamal Tate, and ex-wife Katherine Johnson.
As a young man Reek served briefly as a medic in the Army branch of the US military.
Upon returning to civilian life Reek became an avid martial artist. He was adept as a student
and teacher of Gungfu and yoga. As a career path he chose construction and became an
ironworker primarily working as a foreman for C.E. Toland and Sons.
In 1976 he met and married Lesley Phillips. Though their union was short lived they
brought forth two sons Rahdsan and Jamal. As a young single parent looking for direction he
began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses and his close childhood friend Albert Milton.
He soon after remarried to Katherine Johnson. With her three daughters Erica, Tonya, and
Leslie, they raised their blended family in the Jehovah’s Witness faith.
Reek’s love for Jehovah God moved him to publicly declare his faith through baptism in
the early 1980’s. He was proud to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and was joyful in doing the
preaching work. He would share the promises of Jehovah’s Kingdom with anyone who had an
ear to listen.
He was active in organizing many congregation events including weekly basketball
and softball games as well as many BBQ’s, cookouts, and get togethers. Reek was a part of
congregations throughout Oakland California but spent the most time with the Laurel
congregation. Later in life he moved to Phoenix Arizona and joined the Starlight Terrace
congregation where his loving, joyful, and magnetic personality touched many souls.
Those who knew Reek knew he loved life. He was a very social person. He loved to
laugh and he loved to eat. When he wasn’t with his spiritual family he was with his biological
family and friends getting the most out of life.
On January 7, 2023 Reek succumbed to his illnesses and departed this life. He leaves
behind to mourn his death, his Son Rahdsan Tate, Sister Gwen Tate-Blackmon,, Brothers Tyrell
Richard and Terrance Richard, Granddaughter Tiyesha Tate, ex-wife&mother of his children
Lesley Phillips, and many Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, Friends and loved ones.
The Family would like to thank you for your loving kindness and support during this