Russell F. Yates


NORWAY – Russell F. “Joe” Yates, 85, of South Paris, died July 8, at Stephens Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient for two days.

He was born in Millettville on Feb. 1, 1922, the son of Eva (Hayes) and Estes G. Yates. He graduated from Woodstock High School in 1941. During his high school years, he became a part of every prize speaking contest and won a few. He later became known for the varied monologues he would recite, all dressed up for the occasion, be it a farmer or a friendly neighbor lady come to comfort a poor dying soul. These provided much fun and laughter for the audiences, especially on one occasion when the bed broke while he was comforting the poor soul.

After graduating from high school, he went to work on the farm for Leslie Estes in South Paris. He contracted undulant fever from the cattle (very similar to rheumatic fever) and was very ill for a period of time. This was the beginning of his heart problems that troubled him in varying degrees for the rest of his life.

He worked at Bryant’s IGA in Bethel for several years, Hanover Dowell Co, Cozy Inn Nursing Home cooking. During the late 1940s and 1950s he worked testing milk throughout the state. He worked cooking or baking in Florida, the Balsams, the Waumbec and in a restaurant owned and operated by his sister Linona “Peggy” and her husband Clayton. He went to Ohio, and received instruction in meat cutting.

He joined the Grange when he was 14 years old and was still an active member of Franklin Grange No. 124 in Bryant Pond and Oxford Pomona Grange No. 2.

He is survived by two sisters, Linona “Peggy” Blake of South Paris and Laura Hutchins of East Andover; as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by three brothers, Lawrence, Carroll “Tom” and Bryce Yates; two sisters; Georgie “Becky” Haines and Viva Whitman; and his parents.