Auburn – Rev. J. Wilbur Yates, 89, entered into the presence of his Lord on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Heritage Pointe in Fort Wayne. Rev. Yates was born and educated in Bardstown in North Central Kentucky. He is the youngest of four children born to Walter B and Lizzie M (Reinle) Yates. He was a graduate of Ashbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Rev. Yates was married on September 7, 1953 to the former Virginia Lee Wakefield. After 60 years of marriage and a long illness, Virginia died December 29, 2013. He is survived by a daughter and son in law, Kimberlee and Jason Powell of Granger, IN. A daughter in law, Dawn Yates of Celina, Ohio and 10 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and a sister Helen F Lewis of Louisville, Kentucky. Family members that have preceded him in death are his parents, wife, 3 sons, Ray Yates and 2 sons in infancy, Mark W Yates and David J Yates and two brothers, W. Paul Yates and J.B. Yates. Rev. Yates was ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church in 1958. He served churches in Kentucky and Indiana for 42 years before retiring in 1994. He served churches in New Columbus, KY, Mt. Zion, KY, Shiloh, KY, Winchester, KY, New Castle, KY, Waynedale, IN, LaGrange, IN and the Auburn First United Methodist church in Auburn, IN. His last ministerial appointment was as District Superintendent of the Huntington District of the Methodist Church of the then North Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. Rev Yates served on many Boards and Agencies during his active ministry including 15 plus years on the Board of Trustees of the United Methodist Memorial Home, the parent body of the Heritage of Fort Wayne. He also served as a member and Board Chair of the Bashor Home for Children in Goshen, IN. For the last 22 years since his retirement he has directed the Indiana Course Study School at the University of Indianapolis for lay pastors of small membership churches in the United Methodist Church. Beyond the church ministry he has worked extensively with people with Development Disabilities, serving as President of the ARC of the United States and one term as a board member of the National Association. Rev Yates was a member of the Auburn Classic Noon Lions Club and was an active member of his local Church, Auburn First United Methodist, where he often taught Sunday school and participated in the church’s ministry. Services will be 11 AM Friday May 28, 2021 at the Auburn First United Methodist Church, 1203 East 7th Street, Auburn, IN 46706. Rev Mark Fenstermacher, Rev Shalimar Holderly and Rev. Lamar Imes will officiate. Burial will follow the service in Woodlawn Cemetery, Auburn. Calling is Thursday from 2 to 7 PM at Feller and Clark Funeral Home, 1860 Center Street, Auburn and also 1 hour prior to the service Friday from 10 to 11 at the church. Preferred memorials are to the Auburn First United Methodist Church. To send condolences visit www.fellerandclark.com.
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