I love this picture of my Uncle Noel. It was no doubt taken by his father who photographed his children every chance he got. There is a picture of my mother who threw herself on the ground so he wouldn't take her picture. Uncle Noel doesn't look any happier.
Uncle Noel, James Noel Yeakley, was one of the kindest men I have ever met. He and Aunt Alta were wonderful people but I didn't get to know them well. You see, they were old people and us younger cousins didn't spend a lot of time with them.
James Noel Yeakley was born on November 17, 1908 in Altus, Oklahoma. The family didn't stay there very long. Lee Marvin Yeakley was born in Texas two years earlier and the next child in line after Uncle Noel was Aunt Ruth who came along three years later and was born in Archer, Texas. Eventually the family moved to Wichita Falls where they put down roots. Noel married Alta Lovenia Rogers and had six children.
Three of the children are in the picture below. Aunt Alta is the one holding the baby on the left. My mom put the notes on the picture. You can barely see her in front of the flag. The picture was taken in 1937 at the Central Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Noel and Alta made several trips to California to visit us and Uncle Jay Dee. They also went to Washington State to visit Aunt Lola. We also made the pilgrimage to Texas every summer to visit family. Having the family visit was a regular occurrence and one that we enjoyed as children. Although my cousins were mostly older, at least they weren't old people.
Uncle Noel passed away on November 6, 1988, at the age of 80. Aunt Alta lived to age 78 and passed away on October 26, 1990, two years later.
Uncle Noel loved music. He was on his way to sing for the people at the "Old Folks Home" when he had a heart attack (at the age of 80) and died before he got there. It's says a lot about him and is a testament to how young he was at heart and how he was always willing to be a blessing to others.
Noel and Alta Yeakley, probably mid-60's.
Uncle Noel also wrote a hymn. My mom had a copy so I will share it here. I don't know if it was published but I am sure it was sung at his church.