My favorite uncle, Stan Cate, died yesterday. He was 83 years old, a respectable age, but we sure weren't ready for him to go. He was actually my great-uncle, married to my grandmother's sister for 60 years.
I loved him personally because he and Aunt Doodle (that's her nickname) were just so warm and loving. Uncle Stan was a great story-teller, too.
But I also respected him greatly on a professional level as a terrific sales person. He was a top producer in both real estate and insurance sales because he was so warm and friendly. I never asked him if he was a student of Dale Carnegie, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was. We have some snippets of articles about him. One interviewed him when he worked as a commercial bank teller obtaining new business. He said "I really enjoy [my work] because I like to meet people. Being nice to people is the most important point to remember in getting new business ... Calling customers by name and learning their personal needs is another important part of the job. I try to gain the confidence of each and every customer."
He must have been a great networker. I'll bet everyone who met him, remembered him and stayed in touch with him. In fact, after WWII, he and Mozelle were visited by people who Stan met in Europe when he was stationed there during the war. Back then, it made the local paper.
He influenced the growth and development of Clovis and made an impact on his community through the relationships that he nurtured. I feel pretty lucky to work at the Clovis Chamber of Commerce so that I can honor and follow in the footsteps of my grandmother, Olga Bridges, and of my uncle, Stan Cate.
For more about Uncle Stan, see the Wednesday, Sept 20, Fresno Bee for his obituary.