Jeffrey Lee Yates, prominent businessman in Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully on February 22, 2018 in his Alexandria home, surrounded by family, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Jeff was born on November 2, 1954 at Maxwell Airforce Base in Montogomery, AL to parents Naval Officer John Godfrey and Lena Mary Yates.
Jeff graduated from Oxon Hill High School in 1972 and continued his education at the University of Maryland where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1976. He went on to work for Seagram’s Distillery in Baltimore, MD and then became an internal combustion engine patent examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Crystal City, VA.
While growing up, Jeff was always involved in his family’s automotive business and worked many hours at Yates Gulf Service at 834 N. Washington Street in Alexandria, VA. His love for the family business and the automotive industry eventually inspired him to start his own business: Yates Auto Parts and Hardware, in 1977.
Jeff shared his love for the auto parts industry with his brother Jim, and eventually they grew Yates Auto Parts into a regional conglomerate. Having achieved this success, Jeff changed his course, leaving the auto parts business to pursue his passion for real estate.
Jeff embraced the real estate market and acquired many successful properties as owner-operator in the Alexandria area. He always had time for a friendly chat with customers and friends while working at some of his favorite businesses, especially Yates Car Wash and Detail Center on Henry Street and Table Talk Restaurant on Duke Street. He made it his goals to both preserve iconic Alexandria properties and mentor dozens of decades-long employees to pursue their own successes.
Jeff will be missed by his many friends and employees, but especially by his family. Jeff is survived by his beloved fiancée, Connie Sofia, who was his partner in both life and business. He is also survived by his three children, Jacquelyn Marie Nevin of Darien, CT, Jeffrey Lee Yates, Jr. of Alexandria, VA, and Jessica Nicolina Yates of Delray Beach, FL; their mother, Mary Vanderberry Yates also of Delray Beach, FL; and his three beautiful grandchildren, Grace, William, and Olivia. He is also survived by brothers John Godfrey Yates, Jr. of Waterford, VA, James Nicholas Yates of Occoquan, VA, Jason Allan Yates of Fairfax Station, VA; sister-in-law Virginia White Yates of Potomac Falls, VA; and many loving nephews and nieces.
He is preceded in death by his brother Joseph Harding Yates and his parents John Godfrey and Lena Mary Yates.
Visitation will be at Everly Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302 on Friday, March 2 from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the same location on Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. The interment will be held at Ivy Hill Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to support the Bladder Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
Image via Everly Wheatley Funeral Home, used with permission