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Billy N. Yates, age 86 of Luray, MO, died peacefully on July 4, 2017 at the Clark Co. Nursing Home in Kahoka where he had been a patient since June 29.

Bill was born August 24, 1930 in Chambersburg, MO, a son of Harry M. “Breek” and Bertha James Yates.

He graduated from Luray High School and continued a lifetime of learning until the day he died.

On July 16, 1953, he was united in marriage to Melba Courtney in Kahoka.

Survivors include his wife, Melba, of Luray; his children: Teresa (Herb) Wilson of Kahoka, Chris (Terri Jo) Yates of Kahoka, Nancy (Rick) Burkhart of LaGrange, Mark (Diana) Yates of Luray, Bobbi Jean (Matthew) Hilgenbrinck of Ursa, IL, and, Billie (Rick) Morrow of Kahoka; twenty grandchildren: Jan Dee (Joe) Redding, Jada Wilson, Jillian Wilson (Ethan), Casey Yates, Cari (John) Weaver, Caleb (Carrie) Yates, Angie (Julian) Paulch, Michelle (T.J.) McChristy, Ricky Burkhart, Kristofor Burkhart, Kyle (Misti) Yates, Kala (Fritz) Gebhard, Janna Yates, Kody Yates (fiancee, Christine Lammert), Amanda (Tim) Wilson, Shane Roach, Nathan (Erica) Hilgenbrinck, Ricky (Chelsey) Morrow, Matthew Morrow (Anne- Marie), and Lakin Morrow (Kolby); 24 great grandchildren; two brothers, Gene (Linda) Yates, Pete (Janice) Yates, all of Revere; a sister, Sandra (Donnie) Wagers of Lake Ozark, MO; brothers and sisters-in-law: Vernon Hopp of Luray, Kieth (Doris) Courtney of Wayland, Edwin (Linda) Courtney of Florida, Danny (Lina) James of Williamstown, David (Cathy) James of Kahoka, and Jim Snider of Spokane Valley, WA; nephew and special friend, Steve Yates of Luray; as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Elmer and his wife, Delphene Yates; a sister, Suzie Hopp, and sister-in-law, Barbara Snider; and great-granddaughter, Adalyn Wilson.

Bill was a retired employee of Burlington Northern Railroad. He was a lifetime member of the Mo. Trappers and Fur Trader’s Assn; a member of the National Fur Traders of America, the N.R.A., and well-known for his bobcat catches. He was a U.S. Marine Veteran, serving during the Korean conflict.

Bill enjoyed hunting, trapping, fishing, chopping wood, and anything that involved being outdoors – particularly driving his tractor around his acreage. He worked hard all of his life and kept active and his outdoor activities kept him physically fit and busy. He was a leader to those he was around, always teaching and showing how things were done. In earlier years he loved playing softball and baseball.
It was always special to Bill when he took his grandkids hunting. He cherished and treasured his family and loved being with them. He was a wonderful example to his children as he was devoted to the love of his life, his dear wife Melba. Bill had a gift of talking to anyone and once you met him, you were no longer a stranger.

Private graveside services were held Friday, July 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Combs Cemetery in Luray with Pastor Dean Tomlinson officiating with burial following. Military Rites were performed by Ayer-Boatman Post 4342, V.F.W., Herman Blum Post # 192, American Legion, and Missouri Military Honors Personnel.

Friends could register on Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka.

Memorials were suggested to the Clark Co. Nursing Home activity fund.

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