Obituary of Jean Farthing Yates
Jean Farthing Yates Obituary
February 9, 1935 – January 27, 2023
Jean Farthing Yates, 87, formerly of Lynchburg, VA, passed away peacefully on January 27, 2023, at Laurel Glen Memory Care (Carrollton, GA) with her devoted and loving son, Brad, by her side. She went home to be with her Lord in Heaven and reunite with her beloved husband, Alvin, after fighting a long and valiant battle against dementia for many years.
Jean was born in the Renan community of Pittsylvania County, VA, on February 9, 1935, the daughter of the late Jessie and Mary Farthing. She graduated from Spring Garden High School in Chatham, VA, and the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management, sponsored by the Virginia Bankers Association. She enjoyed a highly successful career as a banker, starting out as a teller with Fidelity National Bank and retiring nearly 40 years later, in December 1996, from Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) as a senior vice president.
She called herself a “country girl,” having grown up on a tobacco farm as a sharecropper’s daughter with her parents, two brothers (James and Ray), two sisters (Nellie and Kathleen), and dear Aunt Martha. A devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, she loved her family deeply and fiercely. She was a longtime and dedicated member of Beulah Baptist Church and cherished her church family. She enjoyed cooking, and many would say that she made the best chicken salad, sweet pickles, and chocolate pie around. And, she also frequented the Weenie Stand or Texas Inn with her son for a delicious hot dog when he would visit. She and her dear sisters were inseparable. They enjoyed shopping and laughing together and often took trips to visit their children and nieces and nephews, always spoiling them with great food. They also travelled and adventured together in places like Hawaii, Las Vegas, and Williamsburg. She and her extended family vacationed in Myrtle Beach for many years, and she took delight in walking the beach and searching for seashells. She married the love of her life on December 8, 1951, and she and Alvin shared a love that ran deep and true for 45 years. Her world changed on August 14, 1996, when Alvin suddenly passed away from a massive heart attack.
With the help of the Lord and her loving family, she found the strength to carry on and embraced the next chapter of her life, which included a well-deserved retirement. Jean was a giving soul, and she spent her retirement supporting others, whether cooking a meal for home-bound church members, driving others to the store, or simply calling to talk on the phone. She loved getting together for lunches with her longtime friends, Alice and Joyce, relished in surprise visits from her former co-worker and close friend, Sarah, appreciated hearing often from her sister-in-law Betty, with whom she knew from childhood, and delighted in phone calls from her son, who made it a point to call her every day after Alvin passed. She, too, enjoyed being “Grandma Jean” to Jenna and Jacob, children of her treasured co-worker, Roxanne. Even as dementia began to affect her, she continued to love, serve, and give. She bonded with her cousin, Jean, and her wonderful friend and companion, Lee, who both saw to it that she was doing well. She loved talking with her nieces, Phyllis and Tonda, and her great niece, Lisa, to hear about their life happenings, learn how their children were doing, offer advice, read Bible verses, and simply tell them that she loved them.
After 55 years in her home in Lynchburg, VA she moved to Georgia in 2018, which allowed her son to visit most every day and support her as dementia took hold. Even though she didn’t recognize him in the same manner in the later years, she always knew he loved her with his whole heart. She made a profound impact on the staff that cared for her, and she fought right up until God called her home. Her strength and resilience throughout her life were unmatched, and she touched many lives. She was devoted to her husband and son; they were her world, and she lived to love and support them. She was a hero to many, but mostly to her son.
She is survived by her dear sister, Kathleen F. Merchant of Danville, VA, her beloved son, Bradford L. Yates, and his partner, Maren Henry, of Whitesburg, GA, sisters-in-law, Pattie M. Farthing and Gypsy H. Farthing of Gretna, VA, and Betty Y. Mehalko of Quinton, VA. She, too, is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins whom she loved greatly.
She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Alvin L. Yates; her father and mother, Jessie B. Farthing and Mary S. Farthing; brothers, J.B. Farthing, James M. Farthing, and M. Ray Farthing; sister, Nellie F. McDaniel; sister-in-law, Gertrude M. Yates; and brothers-in-law, John J. Mehalko, William R. Yates, and Julian R. Yates.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Cole family for their friendship, support, and love for all these many years. Moreover, the family is grateful to the Memory Care Staff of Laurel Glen in Carrollton (formerly Cottage Landing) and Sacred Journey Hospice for taking care of Jean with compassion and love. Additional thanks are extended to the Martin & Hightower Funeral Home staff for their assistance in Carrollton.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Beulah Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA), the Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org), or Timberlake Christian Schools (Forest, VA).
Diuguid Funeral Services and Crematory of Lynchburg (434-338-7094) is assisting the family. Memories and thoughts may be shared with the family at www.diuguidfuneralservice.com.
A funeral will be held on Thursday, February 2nd at 11 a.m. in Diuguid’s Waterlick Chapel (21914 Timberlake Road) with Pastor Dennis Hollandsworth officiating. Family will gather at 10 a.m. Interment will be held at Highland Burial Park in Danville, VA, at 2:30 p.m.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 1st at Diuguid’s on Timberlake Road.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean Yates, please visit Tribute Store