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Howard Russell Yates (1919 - 2013)

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Howard Russell Yates passed away March 1, 2013, in Greeley. Visitation will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at the Allnutt Macy Chapel. Service will be at 9 a.m. Monday, March 11, at First Assembly of God Church with reception to follow. Interment will be at 2 p.m. at the Fleming Cemetery.
Howard was born Dec. 1, 1919, in Kimberly Township, Aitkin County, Minn., to Arthur Dwight and Elizabeth Belle (Thompson) Yates. His father was a fireman for the railroad in Lincoln and Grand Island, Neb., Sterling, and Kimberly, Minn. His mother attended Peru State College in Peru, Neb.
Howard grew up in Friend, Neb., and graduated from Friend High School where he played quarterback on the football team and forward on the basketball team. After graduation, he went to Denver to work for his brother-in-law, Harold Easterday.
Howard was drafted for service in the U.S. Army in the Second World War. He was sent to Camp Roberts, Calif., where he received his basic training. During this time his mother died. The Red Cross intervened and the government allowed him to return for her funeral, his father having died when he was a small child.
From training camp, he was sent to Fort Ord, Calif., and assigned to the 32nd Division (Red Arrow) Headquarters Co. 128th Infantry, and was attached to this unit until ordered overseas. He shipped out on the USS Monterey from San Francisco, Calif., on April 22, 1942, in communications as a radio operator.
Howard received the Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, Four Bronze Battle Stars, Lapel Button for Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, Presidential Unit Emblem, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Six Overseas Service Bars.
He worked in Denver several years before enrolling at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated in June 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, designing bridges.
On Aug. 30, 1953, he married Dolores Marie Langdon at the Greeley Assembly of God Church in Greeley. The ceremony was performed by his cousin, the Rev. Harold Maley of Juneau, Alaska, who a few years later would become pastor of Greeley First Assembly of God Church.
Howard's early employment was with Hoskins Engineering Firm of Greeley. In the spring of 1954, Howard and Dolores traveled by ship to the Territory of Alaska, where for the next four and a half years Howard worked for the U.S. Interior Department, Bureau of Public Roads. His summers were spent in the Interior on Road and Bridge projects, and the winter in the office in Juneau in design work.
In the fall of 1958, he began a 27-year employment at Olympia, Wash., with the Washington State Department of Transportation in the Bridge Design Section involved in all phases of bridge design.
He was a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. During their 27 years in Olympia, they were members of Olympia Assembly of God, later changed to Evergreen Christian Center. Howard taught junior high Sunday school class and served on the Deacon Board and as secretary/treasurer.
Together, Howard and Dolores sponsored for ten years, a young people's inter-faith choir from their Yates Music Studio that became a 125-voice choir.
In June 1985, he retired from his work with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Bridge Design Section. In April 1986, Howard and Dolores moved back to Greeley, for retirement and to be closer to family and rejoining the same church they attended when they married in 1953, Greeley First Assembly of God.
He is survived by his wife, Dolores of Greeley; as well as nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father; mother; three sisters, Venice Bouchard, Vesta Easterday and Ada Beedy; two brothers, Lee and Dwight.


Published in Journal Advocate on Mar. 9, 2013
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