Mrs. Thames passed away June 18, 2012, in Tyler.
She was born Dec. 8, 1929, in Shreveport, La., to W.M. and Julia Baines Thomas.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Edwin Clifton Yeates Jr., and husband, Earl G. Thames.
She is survived by her loving family including her sons, Edwin C. Yeates III and wife Betha of Yellville, Ark., William T. Yeates and wife Laura of Raleigh, N.C., and E. Glenn Thames Jr. and wife Suzie of Tyler; grandchildren, Jeremy, Parker and Dawson Thames of Tyler, Hunter Yeates of Yellville, Ark., and Austin, Summer and Jessie Yeates of Raleigh, N.C.
Barbara was a devoted mother and strong supporter of her children and their interests. She was also deeply committed to education. A valedictorian at Byrd High School and salutatorian at Centenary College, Barbara graduated with bachelor’s degrees in math and music. She performed as a bass violinist with the Shreveport Symphony. Barbara also obtained a master’s degree in math from LSU and completed all of the coursework for a Ph.D. Along the way, Barbara taught math at the high school and college levels, finally retiring after several years as a professor at Northwestern State University.
Barbara was also a lifelong volunteer. She served several organizations, including the United Methodist Churches of Minden, La., Natchitoches, La., and Marshall; the Republican Women, and Marshall Memorial Hospital. In her younger days, she served as president of her Junior League chapter and chairman of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Widowed the first time at age 30, with a 4-year-old son and pregnant with a second child, Barbara was one of the real “Steel Magnolias” of Natchitoches, La.
Visitation is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 23, 2012, at Stewart Family Funeral Home, 7525 Old Jacksonville Highway, in Tyler.