In Memory of




Obituary for Laverne J. Pate

LaVerne Pate, 74, of Chattanooga, TN, peacefully passed away on November 9, 2022 surrounded by loved ones.
LaVerne was born on August 18th, 1948 to Julia Reeder and Willie Watley Jr., in Philadelphia, PA. At the age of 3, she relocated to Chattanooga, to be raised by her grandmother. After LaVerne graduated from Riverside High school in 1966, she pursued a bachelor’s degree from Chattanooga City College (UTC). While in college she was initiated into the Zeta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. She later received her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from Trevecca Nazarene University.

After graduation, LaVerne went on to pursue a lifelong career in education. Starting out as an elementary school teacher, LaVerne quickly realized her passion for teaching and held various roles ranging from teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal to working at Central Office and Career Ladder Evaluator. She served on the staff of both Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences and the founding faculty of the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts. LaVerne dedicated 38 years of her life to serving Hamilton County Schools and the community of Chattanooga, by educating and inspiring countless students to pursue their dreams.

LaVerne was a faithful member of Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, serving on the Usher’s Board, Greeter’s Ministry and the Beautifying Guild.

LaVerne is predeceased by her parents, Julia Reeder and Willie Watley Jr., her grandmother Odessa W. Jackson and her brother Johnny Watt.

She is survived by her husband, Jerry of Chattanooga, TN, daughters Lei Ann Pate of Knoxville, TN, Miriam Smith of Atlanta, GA, step father Norman Dixon of Philadelphia, PA, brothers Parris (Essie) Watt of Conyers, GA and Claude Campbell of Philadelphia, PA, sister Karen Davis, Philadelphia, PA, cousin Arthur (Lisa) Watley Jr., of Chattanooga, grandsons Chris Pate (Tori) of Virginia Beach, VA, Grayson Smith of Atlanta, GA, and a host of nieces, nephews family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Hamilton County Schools Foundation with an individual school donation to either Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences or Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts.

Ms. Pate will lie in state from 11:00 am - 12:00pm Monday November 21, 2022 at Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, 1734 E. Third Street, followed by a 12:00 pm funeral service at the church. Interment: Hamilton Memorial Gardens.

Arrangements by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Avenue, 423-622-9995.