JOYCE ELAINE YATES
May 19, 2023
Joyce Elaine, (Bunny), Yates, passed away peacefully with family by her side, on the 19th of May, 2023, at the age of 90. She entered Heaven being greeted by her late husband, Earnie A. Yates, Sr., and son, David W. Yates. She was the daughter of Robert and Josephine Mabry (nee Trettor), born in Poplar Bluff, MO, December 13, 1932. Survived by her children, Cheri Caponetto, Debra Kirchoff (Don), Earnie A. Yates, Jr. (Cynthia) and, Michael Zane Yates, (Lora). Also her daughter-in-law, Jane Yates (David). She was blessed with 11 Grandchildren, 20 Great-Grandchildren and 13 Great-Great Grandchildren.
After a career in the Air Force with her husband Earnie, who was an Air Force officer and Pilot, they relocated to Southeast Missouri to resume civilian life. Joyce graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and, Master’s degree in speech pathology. She began her special education career in Dexter, MO and later moved to St. Louis where she continued as a speech pathologist and teacher for Special School District. She rose to the level of Supervisor within SSD and also served the Lindbergh School District. She was an accomplished pathologist and author as she developed the concept of Phonemic Articulation as a teaching tool and, co-authored a teaching guide and resource book for use by speech pathologists and universities which assisted many in addressing learning, speech and reading disabilities and improvement. Later in life as she cared for her husband while suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, she wrote a collection of poems and observations of their experiences as the disease progressed, until his passing, which was later published with the assistance of her granddaughter, Hanna Yates, in a book titled, “The Stranger Within”.
Joyce was a strong person of faith and enjoyed reading and studying her Bible and, was always looking for the next book on what to expect in Heaven. After a long bout with Parkinson’s disease, she passed peacefully with family at her side, while in her last moments she raised her right hand as she reached to be led into God’s loving arms and, into the Heaven she often read about and is now enjoying. She will no longer need to read and wonder as she is now experiencing and enjoying the promise she lived and longed to claim along with all those she loved so much who made the journey before her.
Joyce’s family would like to thank the many wonderful people who touched her and served her in her times of need at Bethesda Southgate Assisted Living and, more recently, the amazing people at Delmar Gardens South which provided her with loving, and compassionate care along with Pathways Hospice which helped her in her last days to rest peacefully and in comfort as she awaited her call home from Jesus.
Due to her love for the people who served her, this country and her love for animals, any memorial contributions would be appreciated to your favorite local (no kill) animal shelter, veteran’s organization or Delmar Gardens South/Pathways Hospice.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 from 9:00 am until services at 10:00 am at John L. Ziegenhein & Sons South County Chapel, 4830 Lemay Ferry Road, Saint Louis, MO 63129. Interment following services at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.