(November 30, 1914 – December 12, 2011)
Dorothy Langdon Yates, author of local history books, died at home December 12, 2011, surrounded by her family and friends. She speaks to us once more, this time telling her own story:I was born November 30, 1914, in East Lansing, Michigan. My sister Louise (Sally) and I grew up on a farm near Hubbardston. I graduated from Hubbardston High School in 1932; received my Bachelor?ÇÖs degree from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State) in 1936; and my Master?ÇÖs from Michigan State University in 1969, the same week as my daughter received her Master?ÇÖs Degree from the University of Chicago.In 1937 I attained my dream of writing for a newspaper, working (at $15/week) as Society Editor/Reporter/Feature writer for the weekly Midland Republican News. Two months later, the newspaper became the Midland Daily News. I married William Miller Yates on October 7, 1939. As married women in that day did not work outside the home, I gave up my reporter job and busied myself teaching Sunday School, being active in the Women?ÇÖs Association of the Presbyterian Church, and serving as an elder and deacon. I served on the boards of the AAUW, Girl Scouts, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, and the Michigan Women?ÇÖs Studies Association. Later, I became active in opposition to the Vietnam War and, with my husband, worked as a draft counselor. I worked in the Democratic Party, and was County Chairman, 1972-74.I began free-lance writing and placed my work in national and regional newspapers and magazines. I also worked part-time for Design Craftsmen Inc., doing research and copy writing for various museum exhibits. I am the author of 6 1/3 books of local history: The First One Hundred Years, Memorial Presbyterian Church (1967); Building the Arts in Midland, Michigan From 1800 to 1980s (1981, with Jan Jones and Virginia Morrison); William R. Collings, Dow Corning?ÇÖs Pioneer Leader (1985); Salt of the Earth, A History of Midland County, Michigan (1987); A Journey of Caring, MidMichigan Regional Medical Center?ÇÖs 50-Year Journey (1994); and Tell Me a Story for One Hundred Years (2000); Midland, MI, the City that Chemistry Built (2000). I also co-authored (with EllaMarie Schroeder) What Can a Woman Do? A Young Abolitionist in the Michigan Territory (2009).Bill and I had three children, six grandchildren and one great grandchild: Susan Goolthrite Yates Beale (husband Henry B. R. Beale, children Andrew Robison Beale and Nathaniel Langdon Beale, grandchild Christian Noah Beale); Thomas Vance Yates (wife Cynthia Thomas Yates, children William Peter Yates and Emma Langdon Yates); Samuel Langdon Yates (wife Sharon Fass Yates, children Melissa Eleanor Yates and Philip Langdon Yates). I was always close to my sister Sally, her husband Andrew W.L. Brown (both deceased) and their children.Besides my family, I have been blessed with a multitude of good friends and exceptional caregivers who enriched the quality of my life and enabled me to reach the age of 97. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011 at Memorial Presbyterian Church with Reverend Wallace Mayton III officiating. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Midland County Historical Society or Memorial Presbyterian Church. The family is being assisted by Smith-Miner Funeral Home. Online condolences can be given at smithminer.com.