Freda Delores Smith Cate, 78, experienced her homecoming with the Lord on January 27, 2021. She was born on August 5, 1942 in McMinn County to Reed & Irene Hill Smith. She was married to Marion Perry, Jr and they had two children, Mark Perry and Lisha Perry Craig. They lived in Columbus, OH for four years, then she and the children moved back to East TN to be close to the family they loved. While living in Cleveland, she met and married Gilbert Roberts of Chattanooga.
Most people knew Freda from her work in the Register of Deeds Office in Cleveland for many years. She once ran for that office and even though she was not elected, that experience was one of the highlights of her life.
This experience opened the door for her to move to Nashville to be close to her daughter Lisha. While there, she met and married George Harrison Cate, Jr. in 1990. The grandkids have many fond memories of holidays and special occasions spent in Nashville with “Pa George” and “Mimi.”
For the last 3 years Freda lived at Raintree Terrace in Knoxville, TN. She was one of their most beloved residents and was affectionately referred to as “Queen Freda”. She was a wonderful friend to many of the residents, and regularly shared her faith in Christ with those around her. She dearly loved her children and grandchildren, and they also loved their “Mimi” very much. She has really grown in her faith over these last few years and has sought to be a positive example to those around her. She was radiantly beautiful inside and out.
In addition to her mother and father, she is preceded in death by her husband of 30 yrs. George Harrison Cate, Jr and her brother Mickey Smith.
She is survived by her son Mark Perry; daughter Lisha Perry Craig & husband Dean Craig; grandchildren: Savana Perry, Will Perry & Drake Perry; Alanna Craig (& Kolby); Dustin (& Cameron) Craig; Priscilla (& Hans) Egli; Litza Craig. Great-grandchildren: Ainsley & Koda Payne: Braden, Charlie, & Oakland Craig; Finn & Geneviève Egli. Sister and best friend for life Shelba Liner; Brothers Dillard (& Faye) Smith and Donnie (& Margaret) Smith. She also leaves behind friends, extended family, numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank those who lovingly cared for her at Raintree Terrace.
God’s grace and love restored the difficult years of her life with several wonderful years. She looked so forward to going to her heavenly home. She truly lived out 2 Timothy 4:7 She could have said: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, Feb 6, 2021 at the Short Creek Baptist Church Cemetery, 892 CR-50, Athens, TN 37303. The family requests that guests practice physical distancing and masks can be worn at your discretion. The forecast is for a cold day so please dress accordingly. The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 502 S. Gay St. #401 Knoxville, TN 37902 in memory of Freda Cate.
If you are unable to attend, you are invited to share a personal memory of Freda or your condolences with her family at her online memorial located at
Companion Funeral Home of Athens has charge of these arrangements.