Ronald Winton Yates
October 31, 1922 ~ September 26, 2013
Ronald Winton Yates was born October 31, 1922 at Bozeman, MT. He was the oldest of five children born to Thomas Bryan and Altha Salome (Norris) Yates. He attended the first six grades of school in Bozeman and junior high and the first year of senior high in Great Falls, MT. In 1937, the family moved to Coeur d’Alene, ID, where he graduated from high school with the Class of 1940. Ron worked for a year with his dad selling life insurance, before enrolling at Eastern Washington College of Education (now Eastern Washington University) in the fall of 1941. In the fall of 1942, he transferred to Northwest Christian College (now Northwest Christian University) in Eugene, OR to begin preparing for ministry. During his first two years in Eugene, Ron was selected to sing with the college’s male quartet and traveled throughout the Northwest as an ambassador for the college. In 1943, Ron met a cute coed from Idaho, Lois Erma Foreman and following a nearly two year courtship, they married on June 24, 1945 and celebrated nearly 64 years of marriage.
Upon completion of his studies, Ron and Lois moved to Cheney, WA where he served as pastor of the Christian Church (1946-1949), followed by pastorates with the Christian Church in Pomeroy, WA (1949-1956), First Christian Church in Kennewick, WA (1956-1977), and Central Christian Church in Wenatchee, WA (1977-1987). In retirement, Ron served many churches in long and short term interim ministry and filled in on Sundays for many local and regional vacationing ministers. He and Lois became active members of the First United Methodist Church in Wenatchee, upon their retirement.Ron and Lois lived in Wenatchee until 1997, when they moved to Sunrise East in East Wenatchee. They filled their retirement years with volunteer activities, travel, and socializing with their many friends. In early September of this year, Ron moved to Blossom Valley Assisted Living in Wenatchee, where he was lovingly cared for until his death on September 26, 2013.
Ron was named Kennewick’s Man of the Year in 1974, awarded a Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa by Northwest Christian College in 1991, and honored in 2010 by the Downtown Wenatchee Kiwanis Club with induction into the Kiwanis International Legion of Honor for 60 years of Kiwanis membership. Ron served as president of both Kennewick and Wenatchee Kiwanis Clubs and was a Past Lieutenant Governor of Division 52 of the Pacific Northwest District of Kiwanis. Ron served on numerous community boards and committees in both Kennewick and Wenatchee and with the Northwest Regional Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), often holding positions of leadership. He sang for many years with the Wenatchee Apollo Club and was a member of the Douglas County Democrats.
Ron is survived by his daughters, April Yates Hardy (Doyle Hardy) of Yakima and Dawn (Frank) Collings of East Wenatchee; sister, Melba Jeanne (Don) Barton of Spokane; brother, Keith (Dolores) Yates of Tigard, OR; granddaughter, Darcelle (Ronn) Andrus of East Wenatchee; grandsons, Jason Collings of George, Jon Hardy of Yakima, and Chris Collings (Jennifer) of East Wenatchee;
great-grandchildren, Karissa Andrus of Bellingham and Ryan Andrus of East Wenatchee; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and many, many, friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; and his wife, Lois.
A Celebration of Ron’s Life will be held at First United Methodist Church in Wenatchee at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2013. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Downtown Wenatchee Kiwanis Scholarship Fund c/o Community Foundation of North Central Washington. Heritage Memorial Chapel in East Wenatchee is in charge of arrangements and visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 4, 2013 at Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee.