Phillip A. Yates passed away Aug. 2, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was born in Center Point, Ark., on May 26th, 1936, to Carl and Eunice Yates. At the time, Carl worked for Hutchinson Peach Orchards.
Phil attended Center Point for most of his school years, but graduated from Nashville High School in 1954. He attended Henderson State University for two years before enlisting in the United States Army. He served in Germany with a military intelligence unit during the Cold War. Upon returning from service he obtained a Master’s Degree from the Arkansas State Normal School (now known as UCA).
Dierks High School soon hired Phil as principal, football coach, and math teacher. He then purchased a farm near Center Point where he built three chicken houses. At one point he also raised cattle and farmed 130 acres of peaches and five acres of strawberries.
Following the position at Dierks, Phil was principal at Lockesburg and Glenwood High Schools. He completed his 35-year teaching career at the University of Arkansas Cossatot teaching history.
In his retirement, Phil enjoyed working for the city of Glenwood mowing and maintaining the city parks. But his favorite pastime enjoyment came through the Rusty Relic Tractor Club. He enjoyed restoring antique John Deere tractors and displaying them at tractor shows. These events were a special time with many family members gathered to be with Phil and his tractors.
Phil is survived by his wife Sadie. He also leaves behind three daughters that all followed his footsteps into education, Gloria Nation (Brian), Johnna Smith (David), and Ashley Huckaby (Kyle). He has three brothers, Charles (Austin, Texas), Ronnie (Grove, Okla.), and Larry (Nashville, Ark.). Phil was preceded in death by his sister, Rena Verucci (Hot Springs, Ark.). He has seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Mr. Yates is also survived by thousands of students whose lives he touched. He not only had a lasting impact on their education but the development of their character. When necessary, he straightened out many crooked paths with a swing of his paddle. He had a genuine love and concern for each and every one of them. He will be missed by all.
Services for Mr. Yates were Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at Nashville Funeral Home with Bro. Kenny Fant and Bro. Erby Burgess officiating. Interment followed in Center Point Cemetery under the direction of Nashville Funeral Home. The family received friends at the funeral home on Monday night from 6-8 p.m. Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Children Hospital, 3100 Samford Ave., Shreveport, LA 71103.