Charlie Cate


Charlie Cate passed away in December 2010.  He was an attorney and long time Katy ISD resident.  I knew him as a Katy ISD school board member in the 1980's.   When he ran for office, one of his opponents was my friend, Kay Salter.  Kay and I were good friends and back door neighbors.  We were both relative newcomers (in the Katy scheme of things), and so were not embraced by the Katy Establishment.  Kay and I just had kids in the schools, and often found things not to our liking, so Kay decided to run for the KISD school board.  Charlie Cate was her opponent. 

In those days there were lots of forums as school board candidates were not part of a regime or slate--they being simply concerned citizens who wanted to give back and perform their civic duty--they weren't hand picked by the superintendent. In those days there were lots of school board candidates. Going to the forums was always interesting as one learned a great deal about each one of them.  Since I was Kay's campaign manager, I was always at those forums. 

As time passed, we got to know her opponents pretty well, and of them all, we liked Charlie Cate the best.  He was always polite, kind, thoughtful and a true gentleman.

I'm sure those characteristics were the reason why he won the election.

Over the years, I would see him from time to time.  He called when I was on the Board to ask about the Homeschooling lawsuit in which Katy ISD was embroiled, not of their own choosing but just as a representative school district in a geographic designation by the court.  The three school districts were Ft. Worth, El Paso, and Katy.   He wanted to know how much more money the District had been forced to waste on this lawsuit. He didn't render an opinion on the subject matter,  just the waste of money.  That was like Mr. Cate.

(I too had thought it a waste of money, but it continued into appeals, and eventually the State and the three school districts lost.  The State was trying to force the elimination of home schooling.)

I'm sure Mr. Cate is dearly missed by his family and loved ones, and the City of Katy has lost a fine citizen.