Karla Smithhart Yates, co-owner Yates Media, laid to rest

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – "Gone too soon" is how one observer described the death of Karla Yates, co-owner of Yates Media in Lufkin.

The mother, wife, businesswoman and public servant passed away Sunday afternoon in a Houston hospital after suffering a stroke.

Friends and family celebrated her life during a memorial service Wednesday afternoon at First United Methodist Church.

Reverend H. Michael Tyson II spoke of her devotion to her family, Lufkin Panther football and the church.  Emily Stafford sang How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace, which brought many in the service to tears.  Reverend Tyson noted how much Yates enjoyed hearing Stafford sing.

Karla Yates was a lifetime resident of Lufkin and ran Yates Media with her husband, Stephen Yates.  She was a charter member of the Lufkin High School Alumni Association, where she was the first Director of Development, and a member of the alumni board.

In 1999, she was the second Coming Home Queen of the Alumni Association.  Yates was also a member of the Junior League of Lufkin and Pride Providers.  In addition, she was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin and the Praise Ladies' Sunday school class.

Survivors include her husband Stephen Yates of Lufkin; daughters Amy and Abby Yates, both of Lufkin; father, Claude Smithhart of Lufkin; brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Dana Smithhart of Lufkin, brother-in-law, Darrell Yates, Jr. of Houston and sister-in-law, Sheryl Uresti of San Antonio; and a number of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Smithhart.

Memorial contributions may be made to:

The Karla Yates Scholarship Fund

c/o Lufkin High School Alumni Association

P.O. Box 150837

Lufkin, Texas 75915

Memories and condolences may be added at www.carrowayfuneralhome.com.

Karla Yates dead at age 52.

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