|Birth: ||Apr. 2, 1925|
|Death: ||Oct. 24, 2007|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
A few veteran journalists on the Deseret Morning News staff remember a day about a quarter-century ago when actor Ed Asner, famous then as fictional radio and TV newspaper city editor Lou Grant, dropped by the office and was escorted to then-News city editor Lou Bate.
"Lou Grant, meet Lou Bate," went the introduction.
The man who portrayed a city editor was face-to-face with the quintessential city editor.
Louis B. Bate Jr., 82, the paper's city editor for 13 years and ultimately an assistant managing editor, died Oct. 24, 2007. He was an employee of the Deseret News for nearly 40 years before his retirement in 1987.
Mr. Bate served as city editor from 1973-86. His reputation as city desk editor hinged on a balance of toughness and fairness. He also thrived on the big stories during his tenure as editor, marshaling his troops during such 1970s events as the Teton Dam flood disaster and the controversial execution of murderer Gary Gilmore, the first execution in the United States in more than a decade. He also spearheaded development of the newspaper's award-winning investigative "Pinpoint Team" during that era.
"Lou Bate was one of the toughest and most courageous newspapermen I have ever known," said William B. Smart, a former Deseret News editor.
"Lou was a classic city editor," echoed Richard D. Hall, Deseret Morning News managing editor. "He was tough, but he was fair and he knew the business. He was a professional in every way."
Mr. Bate first worked for the Deseret News in 1948 while attending Utah State University. After graduating with a degree in political science/journalism he became the paper's bureau chief in Price for a year before joining the city desk staff in Salt Lake City in 1951. He also worked as reporter, makeup editor, assistant city editor (1956-68) and associate city editor (1968-73).
Having had so many different jobs at the newspaper, he once quipped that he didn't know if that meant he was "versatile or just unwanted."
But in recognition of his work ethic, Mr. Bate received an outstanding performance award and a distinguished service award from the Deseret News, among many honors.
Born in Wichita, Kan., on April 2, 1925, he graduated from Woodstock High School in Illinois in 1943.
During World War II he served in Europe in the U.S. Army's armored infantry.
Mr. Bate married Kathleen Daines in 1947, and the couple had two children, both of whom survive him: Rebecca Bate Sperry, Bountiful; and Michael H. Bate, Phoenix, Ariz. He also has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
His wife, Kathleen, said Wednesday she respected him as "an extremely fine man and very ethical."
Mr. Bate's funeral will be at noon on Monday, October 29th in the Russon Brothers Mortuary Chapel, 295 North Main Street, Bountiful.
Burial will be at noon on Tuesday in Smithfield. Other arrangements are pending.
BOUNTIFUL-Louis B. Bate, Jr. died on October 24, 2007. He resided at 359 East 1050 North in Bountiful, Utah at the time of his death.
He was born April 2, 1925 in Wichita, Kansas to Elsa Ann Brown Bate and Louis B. Bate. He married Kathleen Daines, his best friend and the joy of his life on October 3, 1947, in Evanston, Wyoming. Lou moved to Logan in 1931 where he attended Logan city schools and graduated in 1949 from Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University).
There he was affiliated with Sigma Chi Fraternity, was a member of Blue Key and edited Student Life, the college newspaper, which won two All-America awards during his tenure. He loved the Aggies, tolerated the Utes and usually rooted for the Cougars to lose.
He served in the armored infantry in Europe during World War II but said he did little more than ride around in a half track. Lou worked part time at Deseret News Logan Bureau while attending Utah State. He was appointed Price Bureau chief in 1950 and joined the city desk in 1951.
He claimed he had so many jobs at the newspaper, he didn't know if he was versatile or unwanted. But he enjoyed most of his 13 years as city editor. He was proud of the many awards city desk staffers won during that time and of the newspaper's reputation for the excellence of its local news coverage. And he was proud of the Outstanding Service Award he received from the newspaper.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years; a son and daughter, Michael H. Bate, Phoenix, Arizona; and Rebecca B. Sperry, Bountiful; six grandchildren, Deanna Forssell and Susanne Shaner, both of Richardson, Texas; Clark Sperry, Bountiful; Berkeley G. Bate, Atlanta, Georgia; Emily Wright, Pleasant Grove; Kyle Bate, Phoenix. He also is survived by three great-grandchildren, Autumn Marie and Joshua Steven Forssell and Dillon Eric Shaner.
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 noon on Monday, October 29, 2007 at Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary, 295 North Main Street, where friends and family may call on Sunday evening from 6-8 p.m. and on Monday morning from 10:45-11:45 a.m. prior to the services.
Interment will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 12 noon at the Smithfield Cemetery.
Published in the Deseret News from 10/27/2007 - 10/28/2007.
Lou Bate: an editor's editor
Deseret Morning News editorial
When Lou Bate chose newspapering as a career, it was a blue collar job and you worked your way up from the bottom as an apprentice. When he retired in 1987, the profession was quickly becoming a white-collar computerized world. Silence had replaced the clack of typewriter keys and the cries of "Copy!"
Bate died last Wednesday at age 82. Those who remember him as the Deseret News city editor remember him fondly, but always with an anecdote about his grit and firm hand. Now, with his passing, the old stories are surfacing again. The day he slammed the telephone down so hard he broke the headset in half, for instance. Or the day a staffer got married over lunch and was 10 minutes late getting back to work.
"Where you been?" barked Bate.
"Oh ...well ...take an extra 60 minutes."
The Professional Lou and the Personal Lou were never at odds, but they were often distinct. The Personal Lou loved working over old antiques, had a shy smile and would rather sit in the dark wearing sunglasses before going to the dentist to fix a toothache.
The Professional Lou seemed to come fully formed from the movie screen where reporters barked "Get me rewrite!" and "Kill the bulldog and re-make the split page!"
The newsroom of Lou Bate was a noisy place, and he had a voice that could cut through the clatter. He knew his stuff. Nobody second-guessed him because he didn't second-guess himself. And his sense of confidence and professionalism seeped into his staff. He could do everybody else's job better than they could. A native of the Midwest, he served in the infantry during World War II and brought the sensibilities and integrity gained from both to his positions at the paper.
Whenever he attended Deseret Morning News functions in recent years, people flocked to greet him and chat.
He was more than a mentor, friend or colleague.
He was the model of what a man — and a newsman — should be.
REST IN PEACE.
Kathleen Daines Bate (1928 - 2008)*
Smithfield City Cemetery
Created by: Ryan Curtis
Record added: Oct 25, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22451439