Mr. Earl Wesley Yates, 68, of Rockingham, died peacefully at his home, Sunday, December 9, 2012 after a courageous seven year battle with cancer. He was born March 24, 1944 in Richmond County, a son of the late Albert and Marie Ewing Yates.
Mr. Yates was a 1962 graduate of Hamlet High School and was honored to earn a football scholarship to Duke University. He was a 1966 graduate of Duke, where he played football. He spent a short time with the Washington Redskins NFL team in 1966. During his career in education, he was the principal of schools in Hoffman, Cordova, West Rockingham, and Fairview Heights in Hamlet. He loved the students, teachers, and staff at all his schools and especially at Fairview Heights where he worked for twenty seven years and had attended as a child. Mr. Yates was, also, on the staff of Richmond Community College, as assistant director of vocational training and started the nursing program there.
A service to celebrate the life of Mr. Yates will be conducted 2:00 pm Tuesday, December 11th at the First Presbyterian Church in Hamlet with Rev. Jim Ritter and CRE Belinda Rice officiating. The family will receive friends Monday evening from 5 to 8 pm at Watson – King Funeral Home in Rockingham.
Mr. Yates is survived by his wife Linda; three children, Amy Yates Bryan and husband Rupert of Raleigh, Allan Yates and wife Dawn of Lenoir, and Susan Yates McDonald and husband Eddie of Rockingham; six grandchildren, Sarah-Kathryn Yates Bryan, Wesley Yates, Adrian Yates, Ethan McDonald, Cooper McDonald, and Carly McDonald; siblings, Willie “Buddy” Yates, Albert Yates, Jr., and Linda Mabe, and beloved dog, Macy. He was preceded in death by a sister, Ann Chavis.
Memorials may be made to the Iron Dukes Varsity Club, c/o Mary Dinkins, PO Box 90542, Durham, NC 27708. Please write “in memory of Earl W. Yates, class of ‘66” on your memorial gift.
Online condolences may be sent to www.watson-kingfuneralhome.com.
Watson – King Funeral Home in Rockingham is assisting the Yates family.