PUTNAM — John William Yates Jr., 69, of Lake Thunderbird, Putnam, passed away at 6:35 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, at his home.

John was born Jan. 23, 1951, in South Charleston, W.Va., to John William and Phyllis (Drake) Yates Sr.

John retired from Georgia Pacific after 30 years of service. He was an accomplished self-taught guitar player who loved to sing and entertain family members and friends with hours of beautiful music. He was also an avid fisherman and outdoorsman, with experiences that were the genesis of many a great tale! John was a master at family storytelling, with a quick wit who could write so prolifically, one thought they were there. An opinionated thinker who was well-read, and ready to speak and debate any subject. His personality was magnetic, with an infectious laugh. His family has lost a giant of a man … fly high John.  

Surviving are his children, Kimberley (Stephen) DeTombe of Taylor Ridge, Cassandra Yates of Johnsburg and Bryan (Laura) Yates of Elmhurst; five grandchildren, Rheise, Troy, Eden, Ella and Parker; and four sisters, Beverly (Donald) Stamper of East Bank W.Va., Miriam (Rick) Thornton of Charleston, W.Va., Sally Yates of Cross Lanes, W.Va., and Tammy Watson of Ripley, W.Va.

Cremation rites have been accorded and a celebration of his life will be held in West Virginia this summer.

Memorials may be directed to the West Virginia University Mountaineer Athletic Club fund or donations can be directed to Calvert & Johnson Memorial Home in Henry for the celebration of life, which will be held in June.

Putnam County