Harold Yates
8/15/1934 - 11/30/2009 Harold was born in Cumberland, WI. He attended public schools and farmed with his father. At the age of 16, he took a construction job in Alaska. He moved to Texas a year later, and worked on the oil rigs until joining the U.S. Army at age 19. After three years of service, he returned to Minnesota. Harold was working as a security guard when he met Tinker (Shirley's dog), who introduced Harold to Ellen Espersen, her mother, who then introduced Harold to her daughter, Shirley. On June 13, 1959, Shirley and Harold were married. Harold spent his working life as a union member and leader, starting as a truck driver for Admiral Merchant in 1960. He began working as Director for Teamsters D.R.I.V.E. in 1965. In 1967 he was elected Recording Secretary for Teamsters Local #120. Harold became the Vice President for Local #120 in 1970 and then President in 1972. He was re-elected several times until his retirement. Harold served as a Teamsters International Representative and President of Teamsters MN Joint Council 32. Harold retired in 1998. Harold was an exceptionally caring and considerate man. Family and friends were everything to him and he always considered the well-being of others as his top priority. His memory for names was legendary. Harold had a gift for making others feel important and valued. He will be sorely missed. Preceded in death by parents, Nunzio & Mary (DeGidio); brothers, Jack (Georgia), Alfred (Lucille), Edward (Peggy), Phillip (Joan); sisters, Theresa (Harold) Forsblad, Phyllis (Archie) Vohnoutka. Survived by wife, Shirley (Espersen); son, Jim & his partner Jeff Sandbeck; grandsons, Micah, Aaron and Joshua; brothers, Michael and Robert (Judy) Yates; sisters, Lena and Mary Ann Yates; daughter-in-law, Annie Walton and many nieces & nephews. Visitation at the WULFF WOODBURY FUNERAL HOME, 2195 Woodlane Drive on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 from 4-9 PM. Mass of Christion Burial at TRANSFIGURATION CATHOLIC CHURCH, 6133 15th St. N., Oakdale on Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 at 10 AM. Visitation at the church one hour prior to Mass. Interment Union Cemetery, Maplewood, MN. Memorials preferred. WULFF WOODBURY 651-738-9615

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Published by Pioneer Press on Dec. 2, 2009.
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34 Entries
Shirley and family
My sincere thought are with you. I will never forget him and how he was so nice to me.

tina and neil
christina lutz
December 20, 2009
Dear Shirley, My sincere thoughts are with you, I was so sad when you sold your little home here in Mesa. I hope we get to see you again in the future.

Hugs and Love,
Carole Sauro
Carole Sauro
December 5, 2009
To the Yates Family, I was so sorry to hear about Harold. My mother, Edith DeGidio Morgan and Harold were first cousins. I remember going to the farm in Cumberland, Wisconsin and visiting all the Yates cousins. I remember Harold's great laugh and smile. My Dad, Bud Morgan was also a union man and I'm sure they had some great union talks. I'm working on the Degidio family tree and would like to hear from any of the Yates family. My condolances to Shirly and family. Sincerely, Toni Morgan-Peterson
Toni Morgan-Peterson
December 5, 2009
To Shirly and family. My sincere sympathy for your loss. When God made Harold he broke the mold. He was all that has been said about him and more. He arrived at our local union, then LU 2747 later LU 2000, at a time of need and gave wise council and much needed direction. He often said of the local that it was "Geronimo's Playground", a phase I shall never forget. As an officer and business agent for the local for several years, I was grateful for his interest and involvement. Because of Harold I took a greater intest in the local and national scene with Teamsters and I applied whatever learned skills I received from Harold to our local in Minneapolis. I add my thoughts and prayers to the many already expressed here.

Diane Anselmo-Lacy
Retired -
IBT Local 2000
V.P and Agent
Diane Anselmo-Lacy
December 5, 2009
Micah- So sorry to learn of your grandfather's passing. I knew of him and met him a couple times through political things years before I met you. He was a real gentleman and hard working guy. I know he thought the world of you. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Joe Lally
December 5, 2009
Shirley, Jim, and family~
I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. Harold is obviously a very respected person. I remember when I was a kid all the fun we had when you guys would come over to visit. There was always laughter! May Harold rest in peace knowing the difference he made in the world. Dan, my husband has been in the union since we were married and very proud to know how hard the guys at the union hall worked to make sure that the guys were working. Thanks for everything and God Bless!
Jodi Lorence (Nagle)
December 4, 2009
I'm sorry I could not make it up this week. It was always a blessing to see and speak with Uncle Harold about all kinds of topics. He always gave his honest opinion and always listened to yours. I wish I could have spent more time with him.
Nick Ostergaard
December 4, 2009
Jim - I'm so sorry about the loss of your Dad. It is hard to face such a loss, but hopefully the outpouring of caring will comfort you. He certainly earned the respect of many people in his life. You must be proud of him, as he must have been of you. Please know that I am thinking of you today.
Mary Murck
December 4, 2009
TO the Yates Family: Harold was a mentor, friend, source of stength and knowledge, and the best all around Teamster in the nation. I learned so much from him and will always be grateful that "Uncle Harold" was a part of my life. Everyone should follow in his footsteps although no one can ever fill his shoes.
My heartfelt sympany to all of you who loved him so much.
Dotty Malinsky
Retired International VP, IBT
December 4, 2009
I met Harold when he was Trustee of Local 320 in the mid 90s. I owe a great deal to him for the opportunities he provided me. He was a giant in the industry and it was a great honor to know him. My condolences to his family.
Tim Mulcrone
December 4, 2009
Shirley and family, our deepest sympathy to you all. Harold brought me into the teamsters in 1967. I worked with him as a member and as a stewart and as a neighbor in roseville. He was a respected friend and role model to me and he will be missed. /The Phil Hadammek Family.
December 3, 2009
Shirley and Jim - Harold loved you both so much! It was a wonderful childhood growing up on Marion Street - any kid was always welcome at your house - for a water fight, to visit Cumberland, get a ride on the snowmobile, sit on the front steps or have a meal in the garage! Thank you, thank you, thank you! The Palumbo Kids
Jane (Palumbo) Aubuchon
December 3, 2009
My sympathy to Shirley and the rest of the Yates family. Harold was a great influence on and help to my public defense colleagues and I when we joined Teamsters Local 320 in 1999. We still talk about the time he kicked the Chief Administrator out of the Teamster Building because he "forgot" to bring some documents we had requested. That was awesome and we all loved it! When I became a Business Agent for Local 320, I always enjoyed seeing Harold and valued his wisdom and advice. He will be greatly missed!
Kari Seime
December 3, 2009
My deepest sympathy to the family of Harold Yates, I knew harold for many years and got to work with him on occasion. Thanks to Teamster Leaders like Harold, my family and I have been able to earn a good living while working and then retire and maintain a good lifestyle. God Bless you Harold.
Gene Fish
December 3, 2009
Yates Family,My deepest sympathy for your loss.It is a loss for us all.Harold was a good friend and a moral compass of sorts for me as he helped me from a young age as a teamster to my retirement,helping me to become a better man with a real concern for others.I will miss him and all his good advice.He truly was one of a kind.
mark armstrong
December 3, 2009
Shirley and all the family have our deepest sympathies. We always looked forward to your arrival in Mesa. Harold would keep us check with his strolling and bike by reviews. We will miss his sunny face.sincerely, Karen & Andy (lot 42)
Andy Christen
December 3, 2009
Yates Family,
Sorry to hear about your loss. Harold (Mr. Yates) will be missed. It was great growing up with him on Marion St in Roseville. Our Prayers are with the Family.
Barbie, Roger & Katie Philip (Faschingbauer)
December 3, 2009
Heartfelt sympathies to the family. It was a privelege getting to know a real nice guy.
Dan & Nancy Kohl
December 3, 2009
Harold inspired me when I was a new Business Agent with the Teamsters in 1989 and I continued to learn from him until he retired. Much of what I know about representing working people during tough times, came from Harold. His assistance was so valuable for critical things -- whether it was for one person or for ten thousand people. We have all suffered a great loss. Kathy Sandvik, Business Agent, Minnesota Nurses Association.
December 2, 2009
Twenty years ago when I was a new Business Agent for Teamsters Local 421 (Dubuque, IA), Harold was one of the veteran Teamster leaders who willingly passed-on his extensive knowledge and experience to a new Agent. Now, 20 years later, I'm proud to work for the members of Local 120, which has produced dynamic leaders such as Harold Yates, Tom Keegel and Brad Slawson, Sr. My sincerest condolences go out to Harold's family. You are being remembered in my thoughts and prayers.
Dave Baker
December 2, 2009
I remember growing up across the street from Bob and Judy, playing with Lisa, Tracy and Mark - Harold always gave us a good laugh. I am so sorry for your loss of Harold. My thoughts are with you all.
Angie DeValk
December 2, 2009
My father was a Murphy Motor Freight driver for 33 years. I've heard so many stories about Mr. Yates and how he took good care of the rank and file guys. He always stood up to management to make sure his guys got a fair shake. It is men of the character of Harold Yates who assured working people in labor were able to be a part of the middle class. He was a champion of so many families like mine, a true champion.

I believe I met him once or twice, as a boy, when the Teamsters had their Christmas shows at the old St. Paul Auditorium?, in the '70s. Wonderful shows for the kids, and they used to give everyone a box of Fanny Farmer candy at the end.

Thanks to Harold for his great work, and sincere sympathies to his family at this time.
December 2, 2009
As a Teamster Local 120 member I was impressed with Harold's leadership and thought he was fair with the members and the companies they worked for. My sympathy to the family. Retired CF union steward Loren R Kramer.
December 2, 2009
Wayne,Fay Nuessmeier
December 2, 2009
That man started, and finished, some of the greatest backyard water fights in the history of fantastic neighbors. He has left me with memories that will always remain.
Richard (Richie) Sonterre
December 2, 2009
Harold is at peace at last. We are sorry we can't be there for hugs, comfort and support; but we are with you in thought and spirit. Our sympathy goes out to you all, Shirley. Love and God be with you.
Barb & George Carley
December 2, 2009
Uncle Harold always made me laugh, and always had a hug for my wife Judy. We will miss him very much

Nephew- Dave Espersen
Dave Espersen
December 2, 2009
as a retired member of local 120, I remember Haroldvery fondly. I remember Him as being strick with the members, but always fair. God bless His survivers,wife & children
roy catlin
December 2, 2009
Dear Shirley and Family,

I am so very sorry about Harold. He was a wonderful, warm and caring man and will be very missed.

I'm sorry I can't be there to attend the services, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
Bonnie Alberts
December 2, 2009
My condolences to the Yates family, Harold was a gentleman and I enjoyed working with him. Sincerely Jim Denny (Ret.) Consolidated Freightways.
Jim Denny
December 2, 2009
I'll miss uncle Harold - his laugh, especially!

Niece - Patty (Espersen) Polski
December 2, 2009
Shirely Dale and I wish to extend our deepest sympathy for your great lost. Dale cared alot for Harold.He had great respected for him,and he admired him a great deal.Our prayers are with and your family. Gods blessing to you all.
Dale & Lis Thurber
December 2, 2009
Harold was a great and wondeful man. I have so many fond memories growing up on Marion St. and having Harold, Shirley and Jim as neighbors. My heart and prayers goes out to Shirley and Jim.
Dave Lang
December 2, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
julie maxey
December 2, 2009
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