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Furniture salesman, distributor Earl Tate dies at 87

 Image of Earl TateEarl Tate

OKLAHOMA CITY — Longtime furniture salesman and distributor Earl Tate has died at age 87.

Tate began his furniture career in 1947 as bookkeeper for Oklahoma Bed Spring & Mattress of Oklahoma City, where he outsold members of the sales force while helping customers load at the freight dock. He became a salesman in 1951.

He joined the Covey Couch Co. of Fort Smith, Ark., and was associated with the company for the next 24 years. He also sold lines from Athens Furniture and SK Products.

In 1978, Tate and his son, Rick, joined BenchCraft Furniture, covering Oklahoma and Arkansas, before joining Washington Furniture in 1990. In 2000, the father-son team joined American Furniture of Pontotoc, Miss.

In 1998, Tate was named manufacturers' rep of the year at the Tupelo Furniture Market.

He also owned and operated Tate Wholesale in Oklahoma City, which stocked a number of lines of promotional furniture.

He is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter, two grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Charitable donations may be made to Central Presbyterian Church, 5001 N. May Ave. Oklahoma City, Okla. 73112.

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