From Staff & Press Reports
Marie Yates will serve as grand marshal of the 2013 Eupora Christmas Parade.
The parade, which is sponsored by the Eupora Rotary Club, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday following the Eupora Christmas Market. Lineup starts at 4 p.m. along West Fox and Clark avenues.
Some of the floats and parade entries will include Eupora High School, the EHS and East Webster bands, Eupora First United Methodist Church, Old Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Webster County 4-H, Cub Scouts Pack 30, Murphy Medical Supply, WCBI TV, Clyde McCain’s 1937 Chevrolet sedan, Mark Greenlee’s homemade “bumper car,” the North Sip Ruff Ryders, Walthall and Eupora fire departments, and, of course, Santa Claus.
The parade theme is “A Candy Christmas,” and Holly Hawkins, Stephanie Stewart and Bruce Walters will serve as judges.
Marie Gary Yates, along with the late Myrtle Booth and the late Marie Lacy, is one of three longtime Webster County music teachers for whom the BLY Fine Arts Center is named. The BLY was founded in 2001 and is located at 24 N. Dunn St.
Mrs. Yates was born Oct. 2, 1919, in Webster County. Music has always been a vital part of her life. In high school she played the piano for church, but also enjoyed entertaining her friends and family with duets with her brother J.W. Gary on the saxophone.
Following her graduation with a bachelor of arts in music from Blue Mountain College, she taught piano in the communities of Crowder and Shelby. It was while in Shelby that she met the man who would become her husband, William H. “Jabo” Yates.
In 1945 the Yates moved to Eupora and Mrs. Yates returned to the organ bench of First Baptist Church, where she proudly served for more than 50 years. During this time she was instrumental in shaping the worship and music program for the church and in shaping a love of music for countless students in Webster County.
In 1957, Mrs. Yates began teaching piano privately and did so, ministering to numbers of students, until the early 1970s. Her students remember her as a lady of confidence and excellence, who preached the importance of dedication and practice. She taught her students that anything worth doing was only to be done well. She demanded excellence from herself and from those she lovingly taught piano and organ.
But as great as her musical legacy is, a greater legacy is her life of faithfulness that has been an example to so many. Her life of sacrifice and patience and gentleness is her greatest inheritance to her children and family. She has taught them the importance of honesty and integrity and dedication to Christ, his church and their fellow man.
And within this life of faithfulness, she is most often honored by her many friends and relations as a woman of prayer. Mrs. Yates is a woman who believes not only in the power of prayer, but in the gift of prayer as offered for others in times of their greatest need. Being described by one friend and former student as a “Prayer Warrior,” Mrs. Yates is an example to us all as we strive to live a life of faithfulness and service to Christ.
2 p.m. – Maben
5 p.m. – Eupora
5 p.m. – Mantee
7 p.m. – Mathiston