Cover photo for Melba Yates's Obituary
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1934 Melba 2019

Melba Yates

February 10, 1934 — July 1, 2019


Melba J. Yates, age 85, of Luray, MO, went to join "the love of her life" on Monday, July 1, 2019 at her home surrounded by her family.

Melba was born February 10, 1934 and lovingly raised by her parents, Richard and Loa "Mickey" Hardy Courtney James.

She graduated from Luray High School and on July 16, 1953, was united in marriage to Billy N. Yates. They both told each other often that they were the love of each other’s lives. He preceded her in death on July 4, 2017.

Survivors include five children: Teresa (Herb) Wilson of Kahoka, Chris (Terri Jo) Yates of Kahoka, Nancy (Rick) Burkhart of LaGrange, Bobbi Jean (Matthew) Hilgenbrinck of Luray, and Billie (Rick) Morrow of Kahoka; daughter-in-law, Diana Yates of Luray; twenty grand-children: Jan Dee (Joe) Redding, Jada and Jillian Wilson; Casey (Heather) Yates, Cari (John) Weaver, Caleb Yates, Angie (Julian) Paulch, Michelle (T.J.) McChristy, Ricky and Kristofor Burkhart, Kyle (Misti) Yates, Kala (Fritz) Gebhard, Janna Yates, Kody (Christine) Yates, Amanda (Tim) Wilson, Shane Roach, Nathan (Erica) Hilgenbrinck, Ricky (Chelsey) Morrow, Matthew (Anne-Marie) Morrow, and Lakin Morrow; thirty great-grandchildren; three brothers: Edwin (Linda) Courtney of Hernando, FL, Danny (Lina) James of Williamstown, and David (Cathy) James of Kahoka; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Doris Courtney of Wayland, Jim Snider of Spokane, WA, Gene (Linda) Yates of Revere, Pete (Janice) Yates of Revere, Vernon Hopp of Luray, and Sandra (Donnie) Wagers of Lake Ozark, MO; an aunt, Ruby Hardy of Kentucky; as well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a son, Mark Yates; a great granddaughter, Adalyn Wilson; a brother, Kieth Courtney; and two sisters, Barbara Snider and Bonnie Jo James in infancy.

Melba retired from Shellor Globe in Keokuk, but her main job was raising her husband and children. She loved her piece of paradise near Luray where she could grow flowers, listen to the birds, and see whatever wildlife might venture near. Her faith was very evident there. She loved to cook for her family and was the best wife, mother and grandmother in the world. She had recently found contentment with "her" big dog, Callie.

Private graveside memorial services were held Friday, July 5, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at the Combs Cemetery in Luray with Pastor Dean Tomlinson providing words of comfort.

Services were handled by Wilson Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to Combs Cemetery, Northeast Missouri Hospice, or Amazing Grace Church.

On-line condolences may be expressed at

To send a flower arrangement to the family of Melba J. Yates , please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

Graveside services will be private. There will be no visitation. Friends may send condolences on-line.

Graveside Service

Friday, July 05, 2019

Combs Cemetery

Luray, MO

Graveside services will be private. There will be no visitation. Friends may send condolences on-line.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Melba Yates, please visit our flower store.


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