Born in 1923, Marie “Midge” Willett Yelton spent her formative years living in Manhattan with her family and attending boarding school at Norte Dame Academy on Staten Island. She met Ernest “Doc” Yelton at age 19 while she was studying nursing at Cornell University Hospital and he was completing his residency. They spent the early years of their relationship serving as military medical staff in the South Pacific and rebuilding Greece after WWII under the Marshall Plan. They married and settled in Doc’s hometown of Rutherfordton in 1949. She assisted Doc in establishing his medical practice and quickly acclimated to small town life but never lost her childhood desire to travel the world. Together, Midge and Doc visited dozens of countries throughout her lifetime. Over 72 years, she raised three children and four grandchildren, hosted lively parties with her close friends, “the regulars,” and engrained herself in the community through voluntarism. She faithfully served the First United Methodist Church, Rutherford County Hospital Auxiliary, Habitat for Humanity, and the Girl Scouts for decades and was actively involved with Meals on Wheels, the Garden Club, and the Norris Library. Midge is survived by her husband Ernest Yelton, daughter Kathleen Bazemore (John), son Jeff Yelton (Kim), and granddaughters Meredith Mason (Bill), Julia Mayer, and Kaitlyn Mayer. She is pre-deceased by her mother Olga Loomis Murray, father Robert Hyne, sister Patricia Lennon, brother Robert Willett, daughter Patricia Yelton, and granddaughter Emily Yelton.
The memorial service will be held 2:00 P.M. Saturday, June 12, 2021 at First United Methodist Church of Rutherfordton with Reverend Dr. In -Yong Lee officiating. Interment of the ashes in the church Memorial Garden. Following the interment a reception will be held in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers memorials to First United Methodist Church; 264 North Main St.; Rutherfordton, NC 28139 or Hospice of Carolina Foothills; P O Box 336; Forest City, NC 28043 or Junior Girl Scout Troop 20128; c/o First United Methodist Church.
McMahan’s Funeral Home & Cremation Services in charge of arrangements.
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