Cover photo for Harlan D. Yates's Obituary
Harlan D. Yates Profile Photo
1928 Harlan 2021

Harlan D. Yates

November 29, 1928 — December 3, 2021

Harlan D. Yates, 93, of Pampa passed away on Friday, December 3, 2021, in Amarillo.

Services will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, December 9, 2021, at the Carmichael-Whatley Colonial Chapel with Dr. Roger Hubbard, retired minister, officiating. Burial will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors and Crematory.

Harlan was born in Baker, Montana on November 29, 1928 to Fred and Pearlie Yates. He was raised in Ekalaka, Montana, located in the southeastern corner of the state. He graduated from Carter County High School in 1946. Harlan worked as a surveyor in the Yellowstone and Glacier Park areas during his high school years and into the fall of 1947. In 1947, Harlan learned to fly in Minot, North Dakota. He owned an airplane before he owned a car. Flying was Harlan’s passion. He served in the Navy from 1948 to 1952, being stationed in Guam and Treasure Island.

In August of 1950, Harlan became a private pilot while at San Mateo, California. By January of 1953, he gained his commercial pilots rating while at San Carlos, California. In June of 1954, Harlan became a flight instructor in New Orleans, Louisiana, while working Gulf Interstate Engineering. By 1957, Harlan returned to Gulf Interstate Engineering for a second time, and that led to his arrival in Pampa. In 1966, he met the love of his life, Henrietta Velasquez. The two were married on December 29, 1967 in Miami, Texas. He continued to work Gulf State Engineering until 1962 when he went to work for Transwestern Pipeline Company. He retired from that company in 1986. From November of 1987 to March of 2003, Harlan flew for Barr Air Patrol, patrolling pipelines. He continued as a flight instructor from 1954 till this year, teaching in all of the continental United States, Canada, and the Artic Circle.

Harlan loved his family deeply. He adored each one of his grandchildren, and they adored him too. He will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends.

Harlan is preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Elizabeth Pickney; three sisters, Freda Spalding, Nova Pearl Wilbur, and Goldie Ann Yates; and five brothers, Billy Yates, D’estin Yates, Robert Ross Yates, Calvin Yates, and Ronald Yates.

He is survived by his wife, Henrietta of the home; two daughters, Anna Villareal of Pampa and Diana Martinez and husband Brig of Pampa; three sons, Michael Yates of Pampa, Robin Yates and wife Leslie of Bellingham, Washington, and Rodney Yates of San Antonio; three granddaughters, Maddie, Angelina, and Hannah; five grandsons, Damian, Nicholas, Michael Ryan, Brandon, and Bryan; eleven great-grandchildren; four sisters, Mary Jo Sodoquist, Dolores Morgan, Patricia Durant, and Judith Caroline Grismore; three brothers, Kent Yates, Dougie Yates, and James Burton Yates; and numerous other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pampa Meals on Wheels, 302 E. Foster Ave, Pampa, TX 79065.

Please sign the online register at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harlan D. Yates, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)

Carmichael-Whatley Colonial Chapel

600 N Ward St, Pampa, TX 79065

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