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Honorable John G. Yates

Obituary for Honorable John G. Yates

September 4, 1934 - November 11, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 84


John Griffin Yates, retired Bexar County District Court Judge, passed away at his home surrounded by his loved ones on November 11, 2018. John was born in San Saba, Texas on September 4, 1934 to Louis Acquilla Yates and Lucile Elizabeth Patterson Sammons.

The family moved to San Antonio, Texas where John attended San Antonio Academy and Texas Military Institute before graduating from Newport Beach High School in California.
He returned to Texas to enroll in Texas A&M University and proudly graduated in 1956 having served in the Corp of Cadets. He then immediately completed his military obligation as a Second Lieutenant in the Quarter Master Service of the U.S. Army and completed his requirement in the Reserves.

In 1957 John entered the University of Houston Law School where he graduated and passed the Texas Bar in 1960.

In 1961, John joined the Bexar County District Attorney's Office where he was promoted To First Assistant District Attorney on August 1, 1970. He was honored, while working in the District Attorney's office, to be named and appointed Commissioner of Precinct 3 of the Commissioners Court by the Bexar County Court Judge. During his term as first Assistant District Attorney under Ted Butler, John received a federal grant which enabled him to computerize the Bexar County Courthouse, which was later used as a model to computerize the entire state, including Dallas and Houston.

After faithfully serving the people of Bexar County for 18 years, John was rewarded on January 3, 1979, when Governor Dolph Briscoe appointed him to become Judge of the 57th District Court in Bexar County Texas. As Judge of the 57th District Court he ran unopposed and retired from service in 1988.

In his early years, John loved hunting deer with his family in South Texas. His hunting was part time while his support and passion for Texas A&M football team was full time. He called himself the "Aggie Judge" and was a Box ticket holder for every Aggie home game until his health issues prevented attendance the last two years.

One of the joys John cherished was being one of the Founders of the "Over the Hill Supper Club" which consisted of a group that met every other week at different restaurants in San Antonio to share drinks, food, and storytelling. Part of the initial group was the late Judge Solomon Casseb, the late "Hippo" Garcia, the late Judge Tony Ferro, Dr J.J. Diaz, Dr Bill Avant, the late Jack Paul Leon, and Gary Howard.

Everyone who knew Judge Yates will miss his kindness, his generosity, his good sense of humor, thoughtful nature and his devotion to his family and his friends. The void he leaves is immeasurable and the pain is great, but we know we will see him again.

John is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Louis Yates Jr., and his half-brother, Cecil T. Sammons, who was killed in action on 12/03/1944 in World War II.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 51 years, Sarah, his son, Griff and his wife Nikki and their daughter Lucile, step son Randy and his wife Mary Alice and their daughters, Callie and Mackenzie and his sister in law Ann Belcia, cousins Tommy Stell Kepner and her husband Greg Kepner, Ed Auler, and his wife Susan.

A Celebration of John's Life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Salvation Army.

A thank you to all the kind doctors, nurses and caregivers. A special thank you to Dr. Gerald Koppes, Dr. Bill Avant, Dr. Poncho Malakoff, Dr. Richard Ferguson and Embrace Hospice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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