Alan Ray Ater

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Former Louisiana Secretary of State Al Ater, 63,  died peacefully May 21, 2017, in Houston, Texas. In addition to serving as Secretary of State, he was a longtime public servant and worked tirelessly for the betterment of Louisiana. Al had many business as well as political interests. First and foremost he was a farmer and steward of the land. His Lakeland Planting Co. farmed corn, cotton, soybeans and rice in several parishes of northeast Louisiana. Services for Mr. Alan Ray  Ater will be Friday, May 26, 2017 at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church  in Natchez, MS, at 11 am. The Rev.  John Kramer will officiate. The family will receive friends on Friday for visitation from 9 am - 11 am at the church. Interment will follow services at Natchez City Cemetery Natchez, MS., under direction of Young's Funeral Home, Ferriday. Born in Decatur, Illinois, on December 15, 1953, Al was the youngest of five children of Donald Edward Ater and the former Ruth Lavonne Chapman. Al Ater graduated in 1971 from Huntington High School in Ferriday and attended Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. At age 29, Mr. Ater was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, District 21, and served from 1984-1997. In 2001, he was named Secretary of State Fox McKeithen's first assistant. He then worked as first deputy in the Department of Insurance for a year before returning to the Secretary of State's office. Following Mr. McKeithen's death, Mr. Ater served his state as Secretary of State and in 2010 retired from statewide political office, in order to focus on his primary passion of farming and family. In addition to his farming interests, he served on the boards of the Concordia Parish Farm Bureau, Catalyst Energy in Vidalia, Louisiana School Employees Retirement System, Louisiana Tourist Development Commission, Louisiana Workmen's Compensation, Second Injury Board, Governor's Advisory Council on Disability Affairs, International Association Corporation Administrators, and the National Association of Secretaries of State. He was elected to the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2009. Parents Donald Edward and Lavonne Ater and sister Kay Ater Goeggle predeceased Mr. Ater. Mr. Ater is survived by his wife of 32 years, Susie Beard Ater; daughter, Whitney Lauren Ater; two sons, Thomas Ater and wife Rivers and Elliott Ater; grandsons, Soren Riker, Kai Riker, and Benton Ater; granddaughters, Maya Fuentes and Graciela Fuentes; brother, Donald  Ater, sister, Lynette Ater Tanner and husband Buddy, brother, Edward Ater and wife Mignonne. He is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews. Pallbearers will be his nephews, John Goeggle, Jeff Goeggle, John Branton, Don Branton, Dan Ater, Lance Byrd, Alan Byrd, and Preston Beard. Memorials may be made to Jefferson Street United Methodist Church-building fund, PO Box 862, Natchez, MS 39121. To leave an online condolence for the family please visit www.youngsfh.com.
Funeral Home
Young's Funeral Home Inc
609 N E E Wallace Blvd
Ferriday, LA 71334
(318) 757-3636
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from May 23 to May 26, 2017