Ellen Yates
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1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Christ Church, Episcopal, Fox Hall
663 Douglas St.
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
(423) 266-4263


3:00 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2019
Christ Church, Episcopal, Fox Hall
663 Douglas St.
Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States
(423) 266-4263

Obituary of Ellen Yates

Ellen Yates died peacefully at her home in Flintstone, Georgia on January 27, 2019, surrounded
by her loving family. She was born Mary Ellen Burton on August 19, 1921, in the home of her
grandparents, on a farm near Subligna, Georgia, settled in the 1830’s by her great-great-
grandparents. She had deep roots in this region and was proud of her ancestors. She was a
devoted wife, a beloved mother and friend, and a resident of Flintstone for over 75 years. She
remained intelligent and humorous until the end.
Mary Ellen Burton Yates grew up in Chattanooga, and because of her energetic, vivacious nature
and her eagerness to contribute, had fun wherever she went. She thoroughly enjoyed life and
loved sharing the adventure of it with sharp wit and verve to spare. She was an alumna of the
University of Chattanooga, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a
Chi Omega. In her younger years, she was a community volunteer who served on many boards,
including the Moccasin Bend Council of the Girls Scouts of America, the Florence Crittenden
Home, the Cravens House, and the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, for
which she participated in organizing the large antiques sales held annually at Memorial
Auditorium, combining her interests in historic preservation, antiques, and giving back to the
community in a convivial atmosphere.
She was a longtime communicant of Christ Church, Episcopal, where she was married to Ed
Yates in 1943. She was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America and
several other notable organizations to which she contributed her impressive talents and energies.
She loved playing bridge and tennis, when still active, and thoroughly enjoyed watching tennis
tournaments on television, even after she had lost most of her sight. She was an amazing gardener
with a green thumb like her mother, but, perhaps, her favourite activity was communicating with
her many friends, delighting in the stories of their lives. She liked knowing and remembering who
was kin to whom and descended from what line on which side, and imparted that to at least one of
her children, if not all three. Ellen was known for her great conversational and entertaining skills,
always setting a beautiful table, serving delicious meals, and making people feel at home,
throughout her life, wherever she lived. Though she did not do much day-to-day cooking, since
Kathryn Womble handled all that and much more quite brilliantly, she “put up” many a vegetable
from her husband Ed’s immense garden and made more jars of fabulous chutney than could be
counted, moving from Southern fruit chutneys to her famous mango chutney, once she spent
winters in Harbour Island. She was famous in years past for her delectable cookies, especially the
chocolate chip cookies, that she made for her children’s friends, who regularly would congregate
in Flintstone, delighting both Ed and Ellen. They thoroughly enjoyed having crowds of young
people around whom he could photograph for posterity and she could document in the large
photo albums that she lovingly assembled and labeled. These albums were the delight of the

many young guests, who spent hours perusing them to see the pictures of their companions as
well as their own.
After the death of her wonderful first husband Ed Yates, she married her college sweetheart,
Henry (“Dude”) Barnard. They spent many adventurous years together, sailing around the
Caribbean on her gift to her husband, a majestic Gulfstar ketch “the Widgeon”, and crossed
annually from Florida, to Harbour Island, Bahamas, where they lived in Dude’s pastel-coloured,
early 19 th century residence – Java House – right in the center of downtown Dunmore Town. The
years there, where she established an entirely new life as Burton Barnard - since Burton was the
name Dude had called her when they had matriculated at UNC - were particularly diverting for
her. She made many new friends and spent enjoyable hours volunteering at the Briland Browser,
the charity shop of the local Church of England, scooting around the island in her handy golf cart
for fishing, gardening, walking the beach and playing tennis at Pink Sands, assembling daily for
bridge, and going to parties in evenings with other winter residents. She and Dude enjoyed sailing
and were generous in sharing that pleasure. One summer, they took “the Widgeon” up the
Intracoastal Waterway, all the way from Ft Lauderdale to Nantucket and back, accompanied by
her daughter, Susan, and Susan’s three children, in an experience they recall with great fondness.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years, Edward Warrenfells Yates of Flintstone,
Georgia, and by her husband of almost 20 years, Henry Gibson Barnard of Harbour Island,
Bahamas, and Flintstone, formerly of Far Hills, NJ. She, also, was preceded in death by her
parents, Ann Elizabeth Johnston Burton and William Barnett Burton of Chattanooga; by her in
laws on the Yates side: Arthur and Bobbie Yates, Pierce and Barbara Yates, Tom and Cecil Camp
Yates, Jean Grote Yates; Mickey Yates Finfrock and Robert J.D. Finfrock; by her nieces,
Tommye Camp Yates, of Flintstone, and Ann Yates Schoen, and husband Charles Carroll
Schoen, III, of Atlanta, Georgia; and by many of her Johnston and Burton cousins, including
Elizabeth Johnston Neal of Lafayette, Georgia, Tom Lewis Johnston of Subligna, Georgia; and
Dorothy Duncan Guild and husband Montague Guild of Pacific Palisades, California.
She is survived by her son Ned Yates of Rising Fawn, Lookout Mountain, Georgia; by her
daughters, Susan Jensen of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and Ellen Elizabeth Yates Martin -
Happy Baker - of Chattanooga; by her two sons-in-law, Don Jensen and Joe Martin; daughter-in-
law, Rhetta Sies Yates; by seven grandchildren: Yates McKenzie, Corte Madera, California;
Burton McKenzie, wife Liza, of Boulder, Colorado; R. Spencer Spetnagel, Jr., wife Dr. Annah
Sharp Rolig, Portland, Oregon; Ashley Yates Martinez, husband Michael Martinez; Emily Yates
Nelligan, husband Patrick Nelligan; Edward Warrenfells Yates, III, all of Chattanooga; and
William Burton Yates Baker of Flintstone, Georgia; by step-grandsons: Joe and Ben Martin of
Atlanta, and Will Martin, of Bellingham, Washington. Additionally, she is survived by ten great-
grandchildren: Mason Leigh, Pierce, and Logan McKenzie, of Corte Madera; California; Lauren,
Kate, and Cooper McKenzie of Boulder, Colorado; Reid, Henri, and Arthur Nelligan; and
Thomas and Henrietta Mae Martinez, all of Chattanooga. She also is survived by step-daughters,
Augusta Barnard Beaugrand, husband Kenneth Beaugrand, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and
children, Chris, Samantha, Jason Beaugrand; and Betts Barnard Cooper and daughters, Mimi and
Jenny Cooper, Indianapolis.
Ellen is survived by her elder brother, Bill - William Johnston Burton, who is over 99 years old
and still quick-witted - and wife, Betty Burton, Signal Mountain, Tennessee, by her nieces, Ann
Burton Evans, husband Dave Evans, Signal Mountain; and Betsy Burton, husband Mike Whipp,
Lyons, Colorado. She is survived as well by several cousins, including Mary Spann Hunt Hedges,
Chattanooga; Noel Hunt Blancas, husband Homero Blancas, Houston, Texas; Joan Neal Butler,
Summerville, Georgia; and Montague Guild, Pacific Palisades, California, and all their respective
Ellen is survived on the Yates side by her sister-in-law, Jo Ann Yates; by eight nieces and
nephews and all their wives, children and grandchildren, including: Robert Finfrock and his wife

Ginny, Winter Park, Florida; Connie Finfrock Galley, husband Dick Galley, Westport
Connecticut and Palm Beach, Florida; Sue Finfrock Atwood of Orlando, Florida; Brewster Yates
and his wife Tressa, Flintstone; H. Pierce Yates and wife Amy, Birmingham, Alabama; Lollie
Yates Sikes, husband Jim Sikes, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Sheri Yates Wood, husband Bob
Wood, Kansas City, Missouri; Allen Yates and wife Helen Bess, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee,
and Colorado; and by great-niece, Laura Schoen Warren, husband Gene Warren; and great-
nephew, Charles Schoen IV, of Atlanta, and by many, many more beloved great-nieces and great-
nephews, too numerous to list.
Additionally, importantly, she is survived by her loyal and longtime friends and helpers, Kathryn
Womble and Helen Perry Cummings, Curtis Beasley and Sandra Veal, without whom the quality
of her life would have been greatly altered and reduced.
The family forever shall be grateful to Ellen’s devoted caregivers, Michelle Welden, Charlene
Farthing, Phyllis Gill, Susan Hannah, Jada Welden, Kristina Willard, Linda Perry Clark, and the
many others who helped to make the last years of her life pleasant and worthwhile. The family
also appreciates the excellent care given at the end by the kind nurses and caregivers of Amedisys
Hospice of North Georgia, including Kayla Burkett, Heather Thomas Fleming, Chris Morgan,
Emily Russell, and Sherry Teem. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The
National Society of the Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA-TN, Mrs. A.P. Whitson, Jr, P.O.
Box 50973, Nashville, TN 37205-0973); Christ Church, Episcopal, 663 Douglas St, Chattanooga,
TN 37403; Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, 1802 Bailey Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404;
Amedisys Hospice of North Georgia, 122 Battlefield Crossing Court, Ringgold, GA 30736; or the
charity of your choice.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 2, 2019, between 1:00 and 3:00 pm at Christ
Church, Episcopal, Fox Hall, with the memorial service following at 3 pm. Arrangements are by
Wann Funeral Home. Private family burial at Forest Hills Cemetery, Chattanooga, Tennessee

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