Bennie Baxter Yates, age 89, of Oak Street, Boone, passed away on Monday, February 11, 2019 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

Bennie was born October 29, 1929 in the Shawneehaw Township, Watauga County. He was a son of the late Dave and Anna Belle Smith Yates. He retired from Food Services at Appalachian State University in 1981after 31 years of service. He then went into the cattle business fulltime and remained a cattleman until his passing.

Bennie loved being out in nature. He had the amazing ability to be able to name just about every tree, bush, or flower that grew in our area. He was one of the best vegetable and flower gardeners in Watauga County. He loved to trout fish and grouse hunt.

Bennie was a member of Snow Lodge #363 for over 64 years. He was a Past Master, 32nd degree Mason, and a Shriner.

Bennie is survived by one son, Harry Yates and wife Janelle of Boone and three daughters, Rachel Muller and husband Richard of Miami, FL, Elaine Miller and husband Mike of Knoxville, TN, and Karen Ratchford and husband Ed of Moscow, ID. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Ed Yates and wife Erin of Palmyra, VA, Eric Miller and wife Heather of Lebanon, TN, Kelly Peters and husband Aaron of Staunton, VA, Jessica Metcalf and husband Josh of Knoxville, TN, Matthew Muller and partner Erin Carr of Everett, WA, and Jake Ratchford of Lewiston, ID. He is survived by 10 great grandchildren: Caleb, Christina, and Dylan Yates and Kainoa and Kekoa Peters, all of Virginia; and Connor, Joplin, and Emma Miller and Luke and Lily Metcalf, all of Tennessee.

He is also survived by one brother, Richard Yates of Boone, and a number of nieces and nephews.

The family would like to acknowledge the wonderful care he received from his caregivers: Nancy Lyall, Robyn Justice, Brenda Osborne, Lois Guy, and Susie Calhoun and also the care he received from the MediHome Health and Hospice caregivers: April, Andy, Miranda, Janelle, Marie, Stephanie, Virginia, Pam, Sabrina, Chris, Holly, and others. Because of their love and dedication, Bennie was able to remain in his home. We would also like to thank his devoted neighbors, J.L. and Frances Laws, for their years of friendship and help; his dear friends Don Norman and Tom Redmond for their years of friendship, and Margaret Honeycutt and Peggy Ward for the years they took care of his housekeeping chores.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Illa Storie Yates; two brothers, Thomas Hade and David Hugh Yates; and five sisters, Eva and Ruby Yates, Lois Rominger, Emma Swope, and Ruth Isaacs.

Funeral services Bennie B. Yates will be conducted Saturday afternoon, February 16, 2019, at 2:00 o'clock, at Hampton Funeral Home Chapel. the body will lie in state, at the chapel, from 1:00 until 2:00 o'clock. Officiating will be Mr. Tom Redmond. Masonic graveside rites and burial, provided by Snow Lodge 363, will follow in the Moore Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Saturday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 o'clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, NC 27565, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, in care of Randy Vines, 1005 George Wilson Road, Boone, NC 28607, or the Moore Family Cemetery Fund, in care of Charlie Day, 175 Gordon Day Road, Boone, NC 28607.

The family will receive friends Saturday afternoon, from 1:00 until 2:00 o'clock, at the funeral home, prior to the service.

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