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Donna Mae Yates | Passages
Donna Mae Yates
March 18, 1931 - May 14, 2011
Donna Mae Yates’ journey on earth ended when the Lord came and showed her the way to heaven at 8 a.m. on May 14, 2011, after her five-year battle with cancer. Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend was surrounded by her family and loved ones during her last days.
Donna was born at Swedish Hospital in Seattle on March 18, 1931 and grew up on Miller Bay in Kitsap County. She graduated from North Kitsap High School where she was crowned homecoming queen.
She married her childhood sweetheart, Bruce Salo, in 1951. They had four children in five years: David, Rhonda, Rick and Les. Her children remember them as the most fun parents to grow up with, providing them with many cherished memories and stories to share with grandchildren. Their memories are filled with backpacking or camping with motorcycles or trailers, by pack burro or beach camping with cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. They spent three years living on a boat traveling through Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands skiing, fishing, crabbing, shrimping and clamming. Then they settled on a 70-acre farm in Poulsbo. Donna and family lost Bruce after an 18-month battle with cancer in 1977.
Later in 1977, Donna met Ed Yates and they were married on Bainbridge Island on Jan. 7, 1978. Ed and Donna were both adventurers who loved to travel, always ready for the next trip or move. When Ed retired in 1990, he and Donna drove cross-country to New Hampshire to visit family. This began 18 years of traveling for Donna and Ed, including 13 cross-country road trips. They enjoyed the culture and landscape of every state in the U.S. together, collecting mugs from each state. They eventually became “snow birds” in 1995 and lived half-year in Yuma, Ariz., and the other in Belfair, Wash. Donna and Ed continued their travels until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. Shortly after, they moved to Raymond, Wash., to be closer to family.
True to her character, Donna never complained about her pain. Instead, she continued to beam light and love to all who knew her. Donna believed in every person’s propensity to create positive change in this world and used every opportunity she had to encourage and support others. When you were with Donna, you didn’t want her to leave. When you did part, you carried a sense that you were somehow taller, somehow more confident. She magically imparted, “I believe in you,” without even saying the words. She was incredibly giving, always thinking about the needs of others by the love that she shared. She always listened, and instilled wisdom and faith by example rather than by direction. Donna was beautiful, inside and out, and would bring happiness to any setting with her infectious laugh and smile. She will be forever loved, remembered and missed.
Donna is survived by her loving husband, Ed Yates; her sons, Dave, Rick and Les; and daughter Rhonda. The family is incredibly thankful to the Willapa Harbor Hospital for their kindness, support and accommodations for the many family members visiting Donna in her final days. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and staff who loved Donna and welcomed her family.
A celebration of Donna’s life will be held on July 1 at 1 p.m. at the Adventist Church, 210 West Shelton Valley Road, Shelton, WA. 98584. For directions, call (360) 710-0226. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Donna’s memory to Willapa Harbor Hospital, P.O. Box 438, South Bend, WA 98586.
-- Family of Donna Mae Yates