Local rancher Yates killed in tractor accident

Yates, seen here, died in a tractor accident Friday outside of

A San Benito County rancher was killed near Orchard Road in a
tractor accident late last week, Sgt. Susan Taylor with the Santa
Clara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today.
A San Benito County rancher was killed near Orchard Road in a tractor accident late last week, Sgt. Susan Taylor with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office confirmed today.

The 67-year-old local rancher, Leonard Yates, died on Friday afternoon from the accident. Details were unavailable as of press time on how it transpired, but an initial call across the police scanner noted how the man had been run over by a tractor.

Yates was in his alfalfa field on the 2600 block of Orchard Road baling hay on his tractor before it occurred, Taylor said. He then got off to look at something, and the machine started moving. Taylor said the tractor caused the fatal injuries to Yates, but the sergeant could provide no more detail.

Sgt. Don Morrisey, spokesman for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, said there was no foul play and investigators are still “trying to determine if the tractor slipped out of gear and it rolled over him.”

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Grunnagle Ament Nelson Funeral Home, 870 San Benito St., in Hollister.

From South Valley Obits:

Lynn was born in Salinas, CA on February 7, 1942 and died April 30, 2009 in a tractor accident on his Hollister ranch. He was the oldest child of Clemia Wyrick and Lawrence Donald Yates. He is survived by his wife Lorene, sons Zachariah Wayne and Karl Wayne of Hollister , and his daughter Edith Cordelia and her husband Yiping Lim of Singapore. He is also survived by his sister, Kasey Allen of Hot Springs, AR and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

As a young man, Lynn served in the Air Force for three years, nine months and twenty-two days. In the service, he worked on the Sage computers. That led to his job as a customer engineer for I.B.M. He left that job to finish college at San Jose State. Upon graduation, he returned to I.B.M. as a computer programmer. He retired from I.B.M. as Vice President of Storage Development in 1998. Then he started his next career as a rancher, raising hay and cattle on his ranch in Hollister, and later, his ranch in Doris, CA.

Lynn and Lorene met at I.B.M. in 1970 and were married in 1971. Zach was born in 1974, Edie in 1976, and Karl in 1982. His first grandson is due in July. We will miss Lynn for the rest of our lives.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, May 8th, 2009 at Grunnagle Ament Nelson Funeral Home 870 San Benito St., Hollister. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Community Pantry of San Benito County, 1133 San Felipe Rd., Hollister, CA 95023 or in care of the funeral home.

Visit: www.grunnagle.com for condolences.

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