OGDENSBURG, N.Y. — Natalie D. Yates, 93, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away Oct. 20, 2010, in Ogdensburg, N.Y., while staying with her son and daughter-in law at their home. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Natalie was born March 5, 1917, to David J. and Grace E. Duty in Bangor, where she grew up and graduated from Bangor High School. One of five children, Natalie was always a loving, caring and giving individual who enjoyed life and everything it had to offer. She met her future husband and lifetime partner, Elmer P. Yates, at age 12 while they were both waiting to perform at a piano recital. From then on their relationship grew; they skated, snowshoed, canoed and studied together. They became high school sweethearts and married on June 29, 1941, after Elmer graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They were first stationed in Hawaii, and she was there during the Pearl Harbor attacks. She returned to the mainland and settled in Bangor with family in April 1942. She remained there, volunteering as a nurse’s aide at the hospital at Dow AFB during the war years, writing letters to her husband every night, until they were finally reunited 3½ years later. The Korean War and the Vietnam War separated Natalie and Elmer two more times, but their love remained steadfast for the 69 years they were married. They were amazing role models for all who knew them. Natalie and Elmer lived in seven states during his service in the Army Corps of Engineers. Their son, Doug, was born in 1947, followed in 1950 by their daughter, Kay. Retirement from the Army took Elmer and Natalie back to Maine, where they built a home in Trenton, ‘Chickadee Cove,’ on Oak Point Road by Western Bay. Their view of the ocean, Cadillac Mountain and Mount Desert Island was a constant source of pleasure, and they thoroughly enjoyed their life together there, as did the many family and friends who visited and enjoyed a warm welcome. Natalie’s many interests included gardening, handicrafts, and music. She was especially dedicated to helping others and sharing her love of the Lord by playing the piano for “sing-alongs,” leading devotions, and creating “sermons” for the residents in both Courtland and Collier’s nursing homes in Ellsworth, where she volunteered faithfully for 30 years.
Natalie was predeceased by brothers, Vincent and Winthrop “Bud”; and by sisters, Beulah and Venetia. She is survived by her husband, Elmer; son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Jean Yates and their daughter, Lynda; daughter and son-in-law, Kay Yates and Mike Brantley and Kay’s two daughters, April and Tami (who have many fond memories of a Gran who would always play school and paper dolls and color with them for hours).
There will be no services until Natalie’s ashes are joined by those of her husband, when they will be together forever. Memorial contributions may be made to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, P.O. Box 962, Ellsworth, ME 04605-0962.