Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Donald Hugh (Don) Yates, 82, Adair County, KY (1939-2022)

Donald Hugh "Don" Yates, 82, of Columbia, Kentucky, died Monday, March 14, 2022 at Summit Manor Nursing Home in Columbia.

He was born August 13, 1939 in Adair County to the late Hugh and Dimple Reeves Yates. Don was a successful businessman, owning and operating Don Yates Drilling. He was a member of Columbia Baptist Church, had been attending Mt. Zion Community Church, and was a U.S. Army Veteran.

Survivors include:

His wife - Frieda Thompson Yates of Columbia

One daughter - Donna Sue Yates of Columbia

One son - Brent Allen Yates of Columbia

One grandson - Waydon Tyler Yates of Lexington

One brother - Bobby Yates of Columbia

Two sisters - Sue Yates Williams of Albany and Betty Yates Bitterling (Ross) of Bowling Green

Several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held Friday, March 18, 2022 at 2pmCT at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with Bro. Dwan Hadley officiating. Visitation will be after 10am on Friday.

Burial will be in the Reeves Family Cemetery with full military honors presented by V.F. W. Post 6097.

Casket Bearers: Brent Yates, Waydon Yates, David Williams, John Williams, Bobby Yates, and Robbie Hancock. Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

This story was posted on 2022-03-15 16:40:23
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Don Yates, 82, Columbia, KY (1939-2022)

2022-03-15 - Photo from the family.

Don Yates is remembered as a very successful businessman, founding and operating Don Yates Drilling.

He drilled in what friends think was the biggest oil well ever hit in Adair County, the Willie Nell oil strike, in the late 1960s and continued successfully through his lifetime.

Don's lifelong friend Jimmy Curt Yarberry remembers that after he came home from service he got his first drilling rig with an economic opportunity FHA loan from County Supervisor John Shelley and paid it off within just a few months.

Curt said he and Don graduated together from Adair County High School in 1957, "like the Statler Brothers song they felt was written just for them, The Class of 57 had its dreams."

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.