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419 Yoakum Ct
Pensacola, FL 32505
Phone: 850-438-6235
Fax: 850-438-5758
Mary Yelverton
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Obituary for Mary Wakefield Yelverton

Mary Wakefield  Yelverton
Mary Frances Wakefield Yelverton

Mary Frances Yelverton, 92, passed away peacefully in her sleep January 3, 2015 with her family at her side. Mary Frances was born in Wylam, AL. Her family moved to Pensacola during The Depression, and she entered Pensacola High School as a sophomore. She was active in the Glee Club and “Annona” staff at PHS and was the High School Queen in 1940.
Mary Frances loved to dance and regularly attended the high school “Big Band” dances at Sanders Beach and Floridatown. It was at one of these dances where she first met the love of her life, Johnie Yelverton. In her words, “He was very tall, slender, dark, and handsome and the most graceful dancer I had ever seen. Each time I caught a glimpse of him my heart beat faster.” They married in 1943 and had a storybook love affair for 65 years until his death in 2009.
Mary Frances and Johnie had two children, Mary and Basil, while living in Pensacola. In 1953 the family moved to Gulf Breeze where sons Dave and Tim were born. Mary Frances was a loving homemaker and provided a warm, safe, and spiritual environment for her family. She volunteered as secretary for Arthur Haylock, the new minister of the Gulf Breeze First Baptist Church. When the Haylocks departed, she and John became very active in the First Baptist Church of Pensacola where they taught the college aged Sunday School class.
The family moved to Fort Walton Beach in 1973 where Mary Frances spent her remaining years. She was an American Red Cross volunteer for over 20 years at Eglin Hospital’s Family Practice Clinic. She and John belonged to the First Baptist Church and taught Sunday School for the “young couples”. They had a positive influence on countless young people and couples over the years. After her children were grown, she went back to school, and at 64 received her BA in Psychology and was the class Valedictorian. She received her MS in counseling two years later and worked as a Counselor for Catholic Social Services.
Mary Frances was a devout Christian who witnessed for Him throughout her adult life. In her words, “I believe in a sovereign God who created us in His image with the privilege and responsibility of making our own choices and being personally responsible for our mistakes. I have chosen to receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as my Savior.” She was at peace in death; ready to be in the presence of her Lord.
Mary Frances was forever optimistic, stressing the positive aspects in all situations. She was a good listener, and was honest and trustworthy in all matters. She brought joy and laughter into the lives of all who knew her. In her words, “I believe everyone, including myself, needs a taste of adventure, a smattering of excitement, and a large dose of Hope in order to enjoy life to the fullest.”
Mary Frances was preceded in death by: her parents, Basil Manly and Lucy Wallace Wakefield; her brother, Wally Wakefield; her beloved husband, John Yelverton; and her daughter, Mary Frances Keisling.
She is survived by: sons, Basil Yelverton (Liz) of Gulf Breeze, Dave Yelverton (Penny) of Charlotte, NC, and Tim Yelverton (Barbara) of Fort Walton; as well as son-in-law, Kim Keisling of El Paso, TX, sister-in-law, Emily Wakefield of Pensacola; and nephew, Michael Wallace Wakefield (Carol) of Jacksonville, FL.
She was blessed with nine grandchildren: John Keisling (Sarah), Lucy Keisling Malkhani (Nick), Anna Keisling Robillard (Dan), Leah Yelverton, Rita Yelverton, Danny Yelverton, Matt Yelverton, Rachael Yelverton Knorr (Josh), Sam Yelverton; and great-grandchildren, Ethan Robillard, Ruby Robillard, Hannah Keisling, Abigail Keisling, and Jackson Knorr. She was greatly beloved by all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and held a special place in all of their hearts.
The family would like to give special thanks to Brenda Davidson who was Mary Frances’ primary caregiver, best friend, chauffer, and body guard for the last five years. Words cannot describe the fabulous care she provided, and we are forever grateful. We also thank Sandie Bender for the fun and laughter she brought Mary Frances during her final years.
Interment of her ashes will take place on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 11 AM at Barrancas National Cemetery. A private service will be held there for family and close friends.

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