Violet K. Yates

October 14, 1917 ~ May 12, 2020 (age 102)


On Tuesday morning, May 12th  Violet K. Yates passed away at her residence . She was 102 years old.  She was born on October 14, 1917 to  Melvin and Eliza Hylton Keene of Buchanan County, Virginia.  On November 22, 1941 she married the love of her life Earl Yates to whom she was married to for 61 years at the time of his death July 12, 2003.  She was the seventh child of fourteen children with thirteen preceding her in death. 

Through ZOOM she was able to visit with her family who were her heart and soul.  Earl and she lived in Buchanan County, Virginia until 1959 when they moved to the Midway area of Kingsport, Tennessee.  She was a 1938 Graduate of Grundy High School.  She attended Pikeville College, Pikeville, Kentucky and East Tennessee State College in Johnson City, Tennessee. In Buchanan County, she taught in one- and two-room schools at Rowe Mountain, Crystal Block and Blackey.

After moving to Kingsport, she began working in the children’s department of the Kingsport Public Library where she retired as Children’s librarian in 1974. After retiring she volunteered with the Literacy Council of Kingsport teaching adults to read. She spent her years quilting, traveling and serving her Lord. Her travels took her to twenty-four states and countries of Italy, The Netherlands, Germany and Norway.  Her love was reading to children especially her grands and great grands. She accepted Christ as her savior at age of nineteen.  She was a faithful and active member of Central Church of Christ of Johnson City, TN.  At Central Church of Christ she established and maintained the church library for a number of years, did Bible Correspondence courses, and was a very avid vacation Bible School teacher and Sunday School teacher.  She carried her faith with her and was a daily reader of the Bible. 

She is survived by her four children:  Richard (JoAn), Yorktown, VA; Fred (Sherri), Sun City, Arizona; Glenna (Jim) Leonard, Blountville, TN; and Brenda (Pat) Steadman, Statesboro, GA.  Eight grandchildren:  Casey Steadman, Miami Beach, FL; James (Peggy) Leonard, Jonesborough, TN; Renee Yates (Hans Stoter), Noordwijk, The Netherlands; Amanda (Jeff) Ward, Phoenix, AZ; Derick (Dusty), Terre Haute, IN; Rich (Susan) Yates; Alexandria, VA; Brent (Skylar) Steadman, Morgantown, WV; Seth (Kirstin) Yates, Phoenix, AZ.  Nine great grandchildren:  Jonathan and Christopher Leonard, Katrina and Breanna Ward, Beck and Ryder Steadman; Sophia and Max Andrade; and Char Yates. Sister-in-law, Louise Keene, Richmond, VA and several nieces and nephews.

A special thanks to her special caregivers, Martha and Joe Dean, Rita Bernard, and Cindy Spradlin.   Special thanks to Smoky Mountain Hospice for taking care of her the past fifteen months.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at East Tennessee Cemetery with Minister Tim Hall and Chaplain Mike Driver officiating.  Due to COVID-19 there will be no public viewing.

Pallbearers will be Richard Yates, James Leonard, Jonathan Leonard, Christopher Leonard, Casey Steadman, and Brent Steadman.

In lieu of flowers donations in her memory   to the Literacy Council of Kingsport, 326 Commerce Street Kingsport, TN 37660; building fund at Central Church of Christ, P O Box 4021 Johnson City, TN 37602 or to charity of donor’s choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Violet K. Yates, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
May 14, 2020

11:00 AM
East Tennessee Cemetery
2630 Highway 75
Blountville, TN 37617

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