Michael Scott Yates

Michael Scott Yates, 65, passed away at his home on November 20, 2020. He was surrounded by his loving wife, daughters and additional family.

Mike had been bravely battling Stage 4 Melanoma for the better part of the last two years and was a true fighter. The vicious disease, and its many treatments had taken its toll on his body and it was time for him to be relieved of his pain.

Michael, affectionately known as ‘Curly’ for his gorgeous locks, was a Christmas baby, born on December 25, 1954 to Bobby Joe and C. Marie (Zerbest) Yates.  He grew up in Shawnee, Kansas with his older brother Robbie and younger brother Denny, and enjoyed playing baseball and fishing with family. He also enjoyed his many summer trips with his brothers to visit family in Bentonville, Arkansas and had plenty of stories to tell in regards to his time with his grandpas’.

Mike attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, graduating class of 1972, where he was involved in the NJROTC.  This is where he met the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Julia Lauderdale.  Mike and Julia were married February 1, 1975 and went on to have two wonderful daughters, Deanna and Andrea.

Mike was the son and grandson of autoworkers and had a passion for cars, starting with his black 1965 Mustang. He went on to work at General Motors Fairfax Plant in 1973. Following his father’s footsteps Mike spent the years of 1974-1988 in the paint department with four years as paint supervisor, 1988-1990 in the body shop, 1990-1998 in material, 1998-2003 in electrical repair, finally ending his career in what he called “The Crystal Palace,” retiring as production office clerk in 2009. Mike made many friends over his 36-year career and truly loved working at General Motors.

Mike was a natural caretaker and had an instinct of anticipating the needs of others.  He never missed going by his parent’s home on a weekly basis and helped his mother often on her computer.  Mike was always there to carry up groceries for his wife and help with dishes.  He was that great neighbor, who would loan out his tools, shovel driveways, or help push your car if it happened to get stuck. He had a sense of duty in caring for others and would be there for you day or night, without a question. If Mike was at a wedding or party, he was always happy to get family and friends out on the dance floor to have a good time.

Mike really enjoyed his lake time with family, whether it was fishing or skiing and tubing behind the boat. He was an avid bowler most of his life participating in many tournaments and was even on the “Bowling for Dollars” TV show once. He participated with his brother Rob in Union trap shooting tournaments.  He loved baseball and was on many teams growing up and in adulthood as well as softball teams with his wife and friends. Mike was very involved in both his daughter’s softball teams as they grew up. “Coach Yates” was beloved by many of their teammates. Later on in life, he greatly enjoyed hunting with his brother and nephew. Mike was a natural artist, completing many wood-working projects, drawings, charcoals and murals. As a “jack of all trades,” he was talented, smart and extremely funny.

Mike was a loving husband and lived by the code of never going to bed mad.  He was a get it done type of guy and could figure out how to do and fix almost anything.  He was a sensitive dad to his daughters but also instilled a sense of discipline and responsibility. “When I say jump, you jump!” He taught them to take pride in doing even the small things well. “Make your bed every morning to start the day right,” was a lesson taught to the girls as well. How to mow, use tools, doing things for themselves, taking care of their cars, shooting a gun, fishing, playing ball, and having a sense of duty to themselves were valuable lessons that Deanna and Andrea were educated on as well. He once said that he raised his daughters to be the best “sons” he ever had!

Mike loved the many family road trips to Beaver Lake in Arkansas to camp, boat and fish and the many other vacations with family or his wife for special anniversaries. He had fond memories of chaperoning his daughter’s senior trip to Cancun along with 70+ SMNW seniors in 1995. You may remember him up in the wee hours, with his checklist, making sure everyone was accounted for and getting to their rooms.  He indeed lived by “lists, systems and processes.”  There was a correct and organized way to do everything.

In retirement, he enjoyed seeing his grandchildren.  His princess, Campbell, and his two grandsons, Wilder and Charles, whom he probably thought he’d never have after a life surrounded by his daughters.  They were all the light of his life.

Mike is preceded in death by his parents, Bobby Joe and Marie; and his youngest brother, Dennis Lynn Yates.

Mike is survived by his wife of 45 years, Julia; daughter- Deanna (and spouse, Cameron); daughter- Andrea (and spouse, Michael); grandchildren- Campbell, Wilder and Charles; brother- Rob (and spouse, Sharon); multiple brother and sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews, of whom ALL were deeply loved by Mike.

Due to the current circumstances we will not be having a service at this time, but hope to gather for a celebration of life when we can do so safely.  Please feel free to donate to your favorite charity.  

We are grateful to the doctors and nurses at Advent Health Shawnee Mission and especially Mary at Interim Healthcare Hospice for her compassionate care of Mike and our family during this hard time.

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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Monday, Nov. 23rd 2020 | 16 Comments »

16 Comments on “Michael Scott Yates”

  1. Vickie Says:

    I’m so so sorry for your loss Rob, Sharon and all of Mike’s Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all for comfort and peace through this sad and difficult time and always.

    Vickie Hersh

  2. Bill Crooks and Family Says:

    Julia and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss and offer our heartfelt condolences. We will be praying for you and your family.

    Bill Crooks and Family

  3. Anastasia & Elijah Bledsoe Says:


    Elijah and I are both very sorry for your tremendous loss and offer our deepest condolences. We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Anastasia & Elijah Bledsoe

  4. Teresa Cook Says:

    Julia and family,
    I am sorry to hear of your loss and hope you’ll find comfort in the prayers and warm wishes of all who care for you during this difficult time.

    Kind Regards,
    Teresa Cook

  5. Hayley & Brent Meadows Says:


    Brent and I are heartbroken for you and your family’s loss. We offer our deepest condolences and will continue to pray for peace and comfort during this time.

    Hayley & Brent Meadows

  6. Len and Joyce Hersh Says:

    Here is a poem I want to share I hope it helps with your loss Gone but not forgotten Dont be sad or cry for me Im in a better place and heaven is where I rather be I’m with my famiy I lost along the way I was called home and sorry I couldn’t stay But as long as you keep me in your hearts I’ll be gone but not forgotten.There are no more tears or heartache.Where I’m at If you think I’m truly gone Then thats is where you truly wrong I may not be here on this earth But I will live on with your every breath For I my be gone but not forgotten.we are so sorry for your loss.

  7. Lonnie & Tammy Reynolds Says:

    Julia, I cant imagine the sorrow and pain you and the girls are feeling right now. Mike and you had a lot of good times it sounds, which generated a lot of good memories to help you get through this very difficult time in your life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and family.

  8. Ray & Chantal Tedesco Says:

    Julia and Family,

    We are so sorry for your loss and the pain you must be going through. Prayers for all of you during this time.

  9. Matt Piotrowski & Family Says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like you and your family have wonderful memories to cherish.
    Thoughts and prayers to you all during this difficult time.

    Matt Piotrowski & Family

  10. Jennifer Bartolac Says:

    My sincere condolences to Mike’s family. I worked worked with Mike at GM. I loved his sweetness and sense of humor. He made many difficult days happier. I hope you, his family, realize how often Mike spoke of you all so fondly and proudly. I feel like I know you all personally from our conversations!

  11. Irene Yates Gotte Says:

    So sorry to hear this. I’m a Virginia cousin. Wish I had met him face to face. Sounds like he was a wonderful person. My prayers and love are with his family.

  12. Steve Harralson Says:

    Rest In Peace my friend. You taught me a lot.

  13. Carolyn Breshears Says:

    Julia, So sorry to hear about Mike. Mike was a wonderful guy, as I remember through bowling with Marie, always there to help out his Mom after Bobby Joe passed. I will always remember the “Yates Mates” from Saturday Night at Shawnee Village Bowl. Oh so many years ago. May the good lord bless andkeep you and your family during this time.

  14. Amy Carter Says:

    My deepest condolences to you Julia, Deanna, Andrea, Rob, Sharon, Kristin, Corey and all of the Yates. What a beautiful obituary. I am lucky I got to call him Coach. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. May the memories of Mike give you some comfort in the coming days.
    Sending hugs,
    Amy (Brown) Carter

  15. Vonda Kuechler Says:

    Julia, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences go out to you and your family. I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling so find comfort in my prayers.

  16. Jan (Janet Butler) Klein Says:

    Julia, I learned of Mike’s death after reviewing Mike’s response to one of my old postsr…and looking you up to see what you were up to on F.B. I saw the photo that Sharon just posted. I am so sorry for your loss. My memories of you two will always be from our young years since Steve and I moved away so long ago and the yearly Christmas cards we exchanged. The internet made reconnecting easier, Facebook, and my work with Mac McDaniel on the 40th Reunion of the Class of ‘72. Mike would comment occasionally on my posts and always made me feel a little piece of home. Wish we could have seen you two more over the years in person; it has been a lifetime ago that we were all going to high school, getting our first jobs, and experiencing first love, first cars, first apartment and graduation! I am so glad that you and your family had Mike and his caring ways to use as an example on how to keep building your lives together. Hang onto those fabulous memories and love and peace to you until we see you again. I will let Connie know (she is in Rehab now). ♥️ Jan&Steve

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