Edith Yates

Obituary of Edith E. Yates

Please share a memory of Edith to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

On Friday, March 1, 2024, Edith Elizabeth Yates passed peacefully in the comfort of her Rockaway Township home with family by her side, after 77 years full of adventures, picnics, and stories shared with many friends and loved ones. Her last spoken words were “I love you.” 


Born in early December 1946, to Richard and Hope Deun-Holloway, Edith was the eldest of three children. She was raised in Mt. Tabor alongside her two brothers, Ralph and Johnny, and graduated from Parsippany High School in 1964. Edith studied Physical Education at Florida State and PennWest California, as well as Urban Planning at Montclair State University.


Edith was a talented dancer who tap-danced professionally in New York City while still in high school. She was also a recreational skier, maintaining a group of friends who worked and skied together in Vail. A true Sagittarius, she had a calling for travel, which led her on pursuits such as backpacking across Europe, Afghanistan, India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. She was diverted to Vietnam during wartime, where she worked as a clerk and television weather forecaster for the US Navy. Later in New Zealand she met her future husband and best friend, Gary Yates, a talented carpenter and Scouser from Liverpool, England. They were married in 1975 at a post office in Christchurch on St. Patrick’s Day, honeymooned in South America, and moved to New Jersey where they raised their two daughters, Sarah and Carly, living in a log cabin while Gary and Edith designed and built their current home. 


Edith worked as a real estate agent for over four decades with brokerage firms that included Thomas Brakin, Inc, as a supporting component of their family business, A. G. Yates Home Improvements. For 30 years she spoke for the trees as the Chairman of the Rockaway Township Shade Tree Commission. She was also an avid gardener, snorkeler, strawberry picker, and subscriber to newspapers. Above all else she was a wife, mother, and Nana to her three gorgeous grandchildren, Beau, Rae, and Sunny. We like to imagine Tyler dog greeting her with Gussie and Otto on her newest adventure while Mr. T. wonders where she went.


She will live on in the memories of her husband, Gary; daughters, Sarah and Carly; grandchildren, Beau, Rae, and Sunny; siblings-in-law, Phil Yates, Barbara (Bob) Burkhill, Diane (Liam) Hennessey, the late Alec (Anne) Yates; and many more extended family and dear friends, including those in Alaska, Australia, Colorado, Florida, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.


Memorial Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 17th, from 1 to 3 pm (with memory sharing beginning at 2:45 pm) at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please plant a tree in her memory. Memorial Donations are being accepted in Edith’s memory to the Arbor Day Foundation by way of www.inmemof.org to ensure receipt of your donation. Please leave a condolence, light a candle, or share your favorite memory of Edith so we may continue to celebrate this extraordinary woman.