Cecelia “Juanita” Greenwell Yates, 94, of Monroe City, Mo., died at 4:55 a.m. Sunday, July 21, 2019, at Monroe City Manor Care Center in Monroe City.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 26, at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Monroe City, with Rev. Greg Oligschlaeger officiating and Rev. Don Antweiler, Rev. George Kramer, and Rev. Mike Quinn co-celebrating. Deacons will be Mike Long and Chuck Lanham. Burial will be at the Holy Rosary Cemetery in Monroe City, Mo. A visitation was held Thursday, July 25, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Monroe City, Mo., with a rosary being led by the Daughters of Isabella beginning at 3:45 p.m. A parish scripture service will be held following the visitation at 8 p.m. Thursday. The family is being served by the James O’Donnell Life Celebration Home in Monroe City.
Juanita Yates was born Dec. 14, 1924, in Lakenan, Mo., to Roy and Beatrice Bell Greenwell. She attended Greenwell Elementary School, Shelbina High School, and Truman State University at Kirksville, Mo.
Juanita is survived by nine children: Anthony Yates, (Nancy) of Monroe City; Joan Benson (Donnie) of Fenton, Mo.; Alice Mayes (Terry) of Hannibal, Mo.; Paul Yates (Kathy) of Eolia, Mo.; Therese Long (Mike) of Monroe City; Kathy Kurz (Tim) of Frankfort, Mo.: Carolyn Spratt (Randy) of Philadelphia, Mo.; Douglas Yates (Stephanie) of Mexico, Mo.; Melanie Albus (Jeff) of Monroe City, Mo.; 37 grandchildren, 82 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, and one brother, Bernard Greenwell of Shelbina, Mo., and one son-in-law, Gary Yager of Monroe City, Mo. Also surviving are numerous nephews, nieces, great nephews, and great nieces.
Her husband, George Anthony Yates, died in 1997; an infant son, Gregory John, died in 1960; a daughter, Cordelia (Dede) Yager died in 2015; a granddaughter, Kimberly Yates died in 1971; her parents, Roy and Beatrice Greenwell; three sisters, Nellie Ann Lanham, Mary Bell Grant, and Kathleen Hall; and one brother, George Joseph Greenwell all died earlier.
Juanita was a well-known author and writer who worked for the Monroe City News for 20 years. She had six books published, contributed to numerous historical books and magazines, wrote a syndicated column that ran in several Missouri weeklies for over 20 years, and wrote for the Catholic Missourian for a number of years. She was named to three National and one International Writing Societies. Juanita was on the board and a presenter at the Mark Twain Writer’s Workshop in Hannibal, Mo., during its 10 years of existence. She also conducted writing workshops in schools, grades Kindergarten through college, and on an adult level, and was an inspirational speaker.
In 1976, she was named Missouri Press Woman of the Year; in 1981, Missouri Press Woman of Achievement; 1982 Missouri Mother of the Year; and a runner up to the National Mother of the Year. In 1985, Gov. John Ashcroft named the Yates family, Missouri Family of the Year. She won hundreds of awards for her writing throughout her career, several on the national level.
Juanita served on the first advisory board of the Hannibal Regional Hospital and the Hospital Home Health Agency, and was a member of the Monroe City singers and Monroe City Arts Council. She volunteered at the Shiloh Ranch for abused and neglected children for a number of years. A charter member, Juanita served 20 years on the board of the Monroe City Sheltered Workshop. She had been an active volunteer at the Monroe City Manor Care Center for many years.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Monroe City, Mo., and/or Holy Rosary School, Monroe City, Mo.
Pallbearers are her sons-in-law, Gary Yager, Donnie Benson, Terry Mayes, Tim Kurz, Randy Spratt, and Jeff Albus.
Online condolences may be made and video tribute may be viewed at www.odonnelllifecelebration.com.