An American Soldier Died Saturday
CWO-W4 (Ret.) Royal Yates, 88, was born on April 9, 1917, in the Corner Section, Clinch Mountain, Russell County, Va. On Saturday morning, September 10, 2005, during a well deserved sleep, he joined the love of his life, his wife, Anna Keown Yates, and two of his treasured children, Martha Elaine, and Hal Royal Yates, in eternal rest.
Mr. Yates was a veteran of three wars, having served during World War II, Korea, and Viet Nam. He served his country first in the Army Air Corps enlisting on July 2, 1940, and later in the United States Air Force retiring with 30 years of continuous service on March 1, 1970. During his military career, Mr. Yates advanced through the ranks from enlisted to NCO and, later, to an officer.
Highlights of his career included establishment of pilot training bases at Cochran Field in Macon, Ga., and at Shaw Field in Sumter, S.C., during WWII. In 1945, Mr. Yates was ordered to escort 50 young airmen, newly trained pilots, by boat from New York City to La Havre, France, and then by train car (40 & 8's) into Germany to Oberfaffenhohen Air Base near Munich.
From 1953 to 1956 he served at Weathersfield RAF station in England before coming to Seymour Johnson AFB in 1956 as a member of the forces ordered to re-operationalize the base after WWII. From 1961-62, he was stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, and returned to Seymour Johnson in 1962 as Administrative Officer to Wing Commander Colonel Chuck Yeager (now General Yeager).
His distinguished military service was denoted by awards including the Air Force Commendation Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, the American Combat Medal, the American Defense Services Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Occupied Germany Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Stars, the Good Conduct Medal with 2 Bronze Loops, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award. He was a member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars, Post 10225, Garner.
Mr. Yates attended the Corner Elementary School, Honaker High School and graduated from Lebanon High School in 1939. He attended Johnson City Business College from 1939-40 and left to join the Army Air Corps. A graduate of the University of Maryland in 1959, Mr. Yates completed his graduate (M. Ed.) and post graduate (Sp. Ed.) studies in education at East Carolina University. Following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Yates served the State of North Carolina as a teacher of young children. He taught in the Goldsboro Public School System until he reached the age of 65 in 1982.
Throughout his life, Mr. Yates enjoyed gardening, woodworking, and Atlanta Braves baseball. He provided exceptional leadership as an Eagle Scout Leader with Troop 11 of the Boy Scouts, earning the Order of Light and Wood Badge awards. After his retirement from the work force, he continued to serve the local community as a volunteer with area churches, the public schools, the SJAFB dental clinic, American Red Cross blood drives, Kitty Askins Hospice Center, and a voter registration Center, and a voter registration volunteer. He gave his greatest devotion to his home, his family, and his friends. He was a deeply loved friend to his neighbors, Grace Rollins, Betty Wampler, and John and Geraldine Baker.
A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Scott Thrailkill will officiate. Burial will follow in Wayne Memorial Park, with full military honors.
Mr. Yates was the oldest beloved son of Quay Elihew and Laura Miller Yates of Russell County, Va. He joins his parents and two brothers, John and Cardell, in heavenly peace.
Remaining here to continue his dedication to family and service are his children, Laura Anne, Patricia Jo, Judith Lee (William "Bo" Parks), and Charles Michael Yates; his grandchildren, Daniel Lee Mitchell, SPC Benjamin-James Royal Yates (US Army); his great-grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Rhyan and Dylan Mitchell; his sisters, Stella (Smith Breeding), Edith (Bernie Honaker), Elsie (Lloyd Tarwater), Evangeline (Charlie Taylor), Jean (Brandon Francie), Joyce (Jerry Taylor); and his brothers, Frank (Thelma Yates), Clyde (Elizabeth Yates), Tivis (Barbara Yates).
Family members will greet friends this evening from 6 until 8 at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home, and other times at the home.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be gratefully accepted to the Yates Family Cemetery Fund, c/o Alvin Yates, 17041 Bryce Lane, Abingdon, Va., 24211-5637.
(Written & Paid by the Family)
Published in Obituaries on September 11, 2005 9:45 AM