Mary Stewart Gills Yates was born at home in Bedford on March 12, 1926. She lived most of her adult life in Roanoke, and died peacefully in her sleep on Oct. 14 in Richmond. "Stew," as she was known to her closest friends and family, graduated from Hollins College and married Harry Robert Yates, Jr. of Roanoke while he attended medical school at The University of Virginia. They settled in Roanoke where her husband was a long-practicing gastroenterologist. While in Roanoke, Mary Stewart was an active member for the Women of the Church at Second Presbyterian, the Roanoke Assembly, and the Roanoke Academy of Medicine Auxiliary. She was a volunteer at the Discovery Shop of the
for 16 years. Her great love of roses and her talent of growing them were a special joy to her. She was an active member of the Roanoke Valley Garden Club and the Roanoke Rose Society. She won countless rose show awards and served as a rose tester for a number of rose hybridizers. In addition to her husband of 65 years, Mary Stewart is survived by her three children, Leigh Yates Farmer and her husband Stuart of Richmond, Susan Yates Claytor and her husband John of Richmond, Harry Robert Yates III of Charlottesville, and six grandchildren, Anne Stewart Claytor, Katie Claytor Duni and her husband John, Carrie Randolph Farmer, Lucy Page Farmer, Harry Robert Yates IV, and Emily Stewart Yates. She is also survived by her younger sister, Anne Gills Phipps and her husband Jim, of Sewickley PA. Memorial services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate that donations be made to The Hermitage Good Samaritan Fund, 1600 Westwood Ave., Richmond VA 23227; Hospice of Virginia, 1700 Bayberry Ct., Richmond VA 23226; or Second Presbyterian Church, 214 Mountain Ave., Roanoke VA 24016.
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Published in Bedford Bulletin from Oct. 23 to Oct. 24, 2013