American Veteran 04

Skeetz Orval Yates

October 25, 1935 ~ September 5, 2020 (age 84)


Skeetz Orval Yates peacefully passed away the evening of Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the age of 84.  He was a devoted husband, loving father and friend to many.

Skeetz was born on October 25, 1935 to June McKee Yates and Ernest Orval Yates in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  He grew up in Shawnee and graduated from Shawnee High School in 1953. 

He is preceded in death by his parents and his youngest brother Michael, and his grandsons John and Richard Yates.

Skeetz is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ruella Marie (Dockins) Yates; his brother, Tom (wife, Susan) of Meadow View, Virginia; his three children, John Marcus (Marc) Yates of New Orleans, Louisiana; daughter, Katherine Hanson (husband, Mark) of Tomball, TX, and Kurt Eric Yates (Rebecca MacMillan) of Everett, Washington; his three grandchildren, Andrew Hanson (wife, Jackie) of Cypress, Texas, Eric Hanson of Houston, Texas, and Rachel Glander of Norman, Oklahoma; and three great grandchildren, Abigail Hanson, Korbin and Kourtlyn Chreene.

Following high school he attended college at Oklahoma State University (Oklahoma A&M) before moving to Oklahoma City to work at the Oklahoma Military Department.  While working, he finished his degree at the University of Central Oklahoma, earning a degree in Industrial Arts and English.  He also graduated from Command and General Staff College.  He worked at the Oklahoma Military Department, and retired from the Army after 37 years.  He ended his career with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, as the Chief of the Internal Audit Division.  He was a life member of the 45th Infantry Division Association.

Skeetz and Ruella loved to travel!  They did not wait for retirement to take their three children on many camping trips all over the country.  He was responsible for hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with all three of his kids multiple times!  Over the years they visited many national parks, historic sites and battlefields, and went on adventures that took them to Canada, Mexico and Europe.  Skeetz loved photography, hiking, scuba diving and spending time with family. 

Following retirement, one of the things Skeetz enjoyed was helping to man the Valley View Pecan Company booth at the Farmer’s Market at the Oklahoma Fairgrounds.  He enjoyed visiting and getting to know everyone at the market.

Thirteen years ago Skeetz and Ruella moved from town out to property outside of Jones.  They had multiple horses, a donkey and cats.  He loved to hang out with the horses, work around the property and drive his tractor.

Skeetz was active in the Lutheran church his entire adult life.  He and Ruella are long time members of Messiah Lutheran Church, where he had served two terms on church council.

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