CHIPLEY — Charles E. “Chuck” Yates was remembered Thursday, Jan. 3, for his many contributions to Chipley and Washington County.
Yates, 78, of Chipley, died Dec. 30 at his home. He was born April 27, 1934, in Chipley to the late William Edward and Eva Elvie (Gainey) Yates. A retired Marine Corps colonel, and he had returned to Chipley after 30 years of service to his country.
“Mr. Yates was an outstanding man, not only by his service to his country as a fighter pilot, but also from his service to his community,” said Ted Everett, director of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “He was an outstanding man.”
On July 3, Yates was presented with a plaque by the Chipley Kiwanis Club in honor of his 16 years of service to the club.
“He was an active member and was chairman of the Sponsored Youth Committee until his health made it where he couldn’t do it anymore,” Chipley Kiwanis Club President Jan Page said. “He was always active, and he cared about the kids of this community.”
A member of the First Baptist Church in Chipley, he was also very active in civic and community affairs. Yates was a founding member of the Habitat for Humanity Washington County chapter, and the Habitat For Humanity Thrift Store was closed Thursday in his memory.
“When I first met him, he was Colonel Yates,” Page said. “It took a while before he let you into his other side.”
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Becky Yates of Chipley; three sons, Steve Yates and wife Lisa of Chipley, Todd Yates of Leander, Texas and Mark Yates and wife Alison of Lynn Haven; one sister, Edwina Showers of Chipley; nine grandchildren and two great- grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at the First Baptist Church in Chipley with the Rev. Michael Orr officiating.
“We will miss him in Kiwanis Club,” Page said. “We made him an honorary lifetime member when his health got to where he couldn’t attend meetings.
“I think his service and what he meant to the Kiwanis Club was evident by the number of Kiwanians at the service today,” Page added. “There were a bunch of us there.”