In Memory

Michael Yates

Michael Yates

Michael Scott Yates

December 25, 1954 ~ November 20, 2020



Michael Scott Yates, 65, passed away at his home on November 20, 2020. He was surrounded by his loving wife, daughters and additional family.

Mike had been bravely battling Stage 4 Melanoma for the better part of the last two years and was a true fighter. The vicious disease, and its many treatments had taken its toll on his body and it was time for him to be relieved of his pain.

Michael, affectionately known as ‘Curly’ for his gorgeous locks, was a Christmas baby, born on December 25, 1954 to Bobby Joe and C. Marie (Zerbest) Yates.  He grew up in Shawnee, Kansas with his older brother Robbie and younger brother Denny, and enjoyed playing baseball and fishing with family. He also enjoyed his many summer trips with his brothers to visit family in Bentonville, Arkansas and had plenty of stories to tell in regards to his time with his grandpas’.

Mike attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, graduating class of 1972, where he was involved in the NJROTC.  This is where he met the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Julia Lauderdale.  Mike and Julia were married February 1, 1975 and went on to have two wonderful daughters, Deanna and Andrea.

Mike was the son and grandson of autoworkers and had a passion for cars, starting with his black 1965 Mustang. He went on to work at General Motors Fairfax Plant in 1973. Following his father’s footsteps Mike spent the years of 1974-1988 in the paint department with four years as paint supervisor, 1988-1990 in the body shop, 1990-1998 in material, 1998-2003 in electrical repair, finally ending his career in what he called “The Crystal Palace,” retiring as production office clerk in 2009. Mike made many friends over his 36-year career and truly loved working at General Motors.

Mike was a natural caretaker and had an instinct of anticipating the needs of others.  He never missed going by his parent’s home on a weekly basis and helped his mother often on her computer.  Mike was always there to carry up groceries for his wife and help with dishes.  He was that great neighbor, who would loan out his tools, shovel driveways, or help push your car if it happened to get stuck. He had a sense of duty in caring for others and would be there for you day or night, without a question. If Mike was at a wedding or party, he was always happy to get family and friends out on the dance floor to have a good time.

Mike really enjoyed his lake time with family, whether it was fishing or skiing and tubing behind the boat. He was an avid bowler most of his life participating in many tournaments and was even on the “Bowling for Dollars” TV show once. He participated with his brother Rob in Union trap shooting tournaments.  He loved baseball and was on many teams growing up and in adulthood as well as softball teams with his wife and friends. Mike was very involved in both his daughter’s softball teams as they grew up. “Coach Yates” was beloved by many of their teammates. Later on in life, he greatly enjoyed hunting with his brother and nephew. Mike was a natural artist, completing many wood-working projects, drawings, charcoals and murals. As a “jack of all trades,” he was talented, smart and extremely funny.

Mike was a loving husband and lived by the code of never going to bed mad.  He was a get it done type of guy and could figure out how to do and fix almost anything.  He was a sensitive dad to his daughters but also instilled a sense of discipline and responsibility. “When I say jump, you jump!” He taught them to take pride in doing even the small things well. “Make your bed every morning to start the day right,” was a lesson taught to the girls as well. How to mow, use tools, doing things for themselves, taking care of their cars, shooting a gun, fishing, playing ball, and having a sense of duty to themselves were valuable lessons that Deanna and Andrea were educated on as well. He once said that he raised his daughters to be the best “sons” he ever had!

Mike loved the many family road trips to Beaver Lake in Arkansas to camp, boat and fish and the many other vacations with family or his wife for special anniversaries. He had fond memories of chaperoning his daughter’s senior trip to Cancun along with 70+ SMNW seniors in 1995. You may remember him up in the wee hours, with his checklist, making sure everyone was accounted for and getting to their rooms.  He indeed lived by “lists, systems and processes.”  There was a correct and organized way to do everything.

In retirement, he enjoyed seeing his grandchildren.  His princess, Campbell, and his two grandsons, Wilder and Charles, whom he probably thought he’d never have after a life surrounded by his daughters.  They were all the light of his life.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Bobby Joe and Marie; and his youngest brother, Dennis Lynn Yates.

Mike is survived by his wife of 45 years, Julia; daughter- Deanna (and spouse, Cameron); daughter- Andrea (and spouse, Michael); grandchildren- Campbell, Wilder and Charles; brother- Rob (and spouse, Sharon); multiple brother and sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews, of whom ALL were deeply loved by Mike.

Due to the current circumstances we will not be having a service at this time, but hope to gather for a celebration of life when we can do so safely.  Please feel free to donate to your favorite charity.  

We are grateful to the doctors and nurses at Advent Health Shawnee Mission and especially Mary at Interim Healthcare Hospice for her compassionate care of Mike and our family during this hard time.



If you knew Mike and would like to place a kind memory here, please follow the instructions on this page (click on "post comment"). 

Mac McDaniel and Jan Klein, Site Administrators

  Post Comment

11/28/20 07:54 PM #1    

Phil Fivgas (Class Of 71)

Sad to see this in my email early this morning. Had to spend the day praying and thinking how I could post this comment/memory. First, can't forget all the memories with the Yates family, especially Pa always talking about File Gumbo (a creole dish) and making the best spiked punches for us to enjoy. Can't hold back the tears folks, its hard sometimes to get it out. Anyway, our condolescences to all the family, I know that "Hottie" as some of us called him, had to be the best husband and dad that anybody could possibly have. All those things Mac wrote are straight up accurate from my memories. I thank God that he was surrounded by you all there, a place dear to my heart. And I was just reminiscing this past week, looking up the old homestead and different sites on the Internet. Was hoping to possibly make contact with "Hottie" and yeah he was always there to help out in anyway, with both feet on the ground and his cool level headed humor. New Years eve 1970, I dropped off my sister and husband in the old Ford Galaxie 500 at a party somewhere in the area and came over to pick up a bunch of the boys, I think Robbie and Hottie were both in the car, I can't remember exactly. The bunch of us drove around making havoc that night but the roads were icy and I was taking a left turn at Neiman Road onto what is called Shawnee Mission Parkway, and the tires broke on the ice and we slid across the double lanes and knocked off the fire hydrant in front of the hardware store and grocery there on the corner, I was scared to death but everybody else were laughing their heads off, so I just took off as the hydrant shot out water, but the rear wheel had been smashed on the passenger side, the tire flattened. We got to the Yates house and Hottie went right to it changing the tire. I was shaken and scared but it was late and I had to pick up my sister and brother-in-law at the party, didn't know what I was going to tell'em. Even as I drove back out to Olathe on the I-35 I couldn't go over 45mph and my brother-in-law was drunk and opening the door looking out trying to figure out what all the noise was coming from. The next day we went up to Lee Summit for New Year's Day 1971 in another car because the crash damaged the axle.

We will be praying for you all there. I can just thank God that I was blessed with knowing and having memories with Michael Yates while he lived in this life. Oh, Lord help us all in our grief. May You be our peace and comfort. Amen. Don't know if "Hottie" was a believer but I'll just add this anyway for those who do. "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of HIs godly ones." (Psalm 116:15)

  Post Comment