Clara M. Yates

Published 6:39 pm Saturday, October 15, 2016

Clara M. Yates, 85, of Suffolk, transitioned Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at Sentara Obici Hospital after a brief illness. She is preceded in death by her mother, Mrs. Juanita Sadler Green, her stepfather Priestley Green, and a brother, Robert Connor.

She leaves behind to celebrate her life and her faith her loving husband, Charlie E. Yates; two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Janie May Yates, of Coram, N.Y., and a devoted sister-in-law, Dorothy M. Yates Dillard, of Suffolk; one aunt, Mrs. Bertha Means, of Austin, Texas; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends in extended circles.

Clara was born in Waco, Texas on Oct. 5, 1931. She was converted and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waco, Texas, as a child and remained active in the church all of her life. After finishing high school and completing her nursing degree, she migrated to Seattle, Wash., and later to the Bronx, N.Y., and worked in New York City Hospital as an operating room nurse for 24 years. Clara was an executive board member of Youth Development Center for the city of New York. She was a lifetime member of the NAACP, past president and active member of the Association of Surgical Technicians, a former member of the Flatbush Division National Council of Negro Women, and a former State Committeewoman/District Leader of the 43rd A.D. As a resident of Suffolk, she and her husband were very active at the local polls and stressed the importance of voting in local and national elections.

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She became a member of Mineral Spring Baptist Church, Suffolk, even while continuing to support her home church in Waco, Texas, and was a patron contributing to the beautification of the church at large. She was very active in Missionary Circles. She will be remembered for her love of knitting and giving gifts of hats, scarves, gloves and throws as gifts, for her infamous cheesecakes and her affection for animals and gardening.

A celebration of life will be held at noon Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, at Mineral Spring Baptist Church, 4849 Mineral Spring Road, Suffolk. Pastor Alan R. Hunt will deliver the eulogy. She will be laid to rest in Langston Family Cemetery. Professional services with dignity have been entrusted to Crocker Funeral Home Inc.