Lou Ann Yates-Grose
Lou Ann Yates, 70, of Crab Orchard passed away peacefully Monday, June 19th at Bowers Hospice House following a long illness. She was born December 27th, 1952, to Hope Yates and (late) Fred Ray Yates of Crab Orchard. Lou Ann was a 1970 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School where she was a flautist in the Flying Eagle Marching Band. After over 20 years working in the banking industry, Lou Ann made a career change that would change her life and put her exactly where she needed to be. In 1998, she began her career at Theatre West Virginia. As an office administrator, she was an integral part to making each theatre season possible. Whether it was providing students across the state access to arts and entertainment by scheduling the Educational Acting and Puppet Tours, to making sure everyone had a safe place to live, she undoubtedly affected the lives of thousands for the better. For many actors through the years, this was their first time away from home and Lou Ann happily served the role of “mother figure” to many. If you knew her, she treated you as one of her own. She would always put others before herself. She was truly selfless. Her favorite time of year was when she and best friend Marina Hunley-Graham would travel the country to attend the annual theatre conferences and auditions looking for the next generation of artists to bring to TWV. Even as her health faded, these times were still her “happy place”. In her retirement, she continued her nurturing nature by serving as a caregiver to both parents whom she loved dearly.
She is survived by her mother Hope Yates of Crab Orchard, son Lew Whitener (Carrie Greenberg) of Sugarcreek, OH, fiancé Mike Bodner of Crab Orchard, brother Fred Yates (Kim) of Bandon, OR, sister Ellen Jussen of Crab Orchard, and countless other family members and friends left to cherish her memory. Services are not planned. As a lifelong animal lover, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Raleigh County. www.hsrcwv.org (http://www.hsrcwv.org/)