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Harold Yates, Teamster official, to be buried Friday

Retired local Teamster executive Harold Yates died Monday and will be buried Friday.

Retired local Teamster executive Harold Yates died Monday and will be buried Friday. He was 75.

His union career started in 1960, driving trucks for Admiral Merchant.

His first stint as a union official came in 1967, when he was elected recording secretary for Teamsters Local 120. He served as vice president before being elected president in 1972. He was re-elected several times until he retired in 1998.

He also served as a Teamsters international representative and president of Teamsters MN Joint Council 32.

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Said one contributor to the online guest book:

“Much of what I know about representing working people during tough times, came from Harold. His assistance was so valuable for critical things — whether it was for one person or for ten thousand people. We have all suffered a great loss.”

Said another:

“My father was a Murphy Motor Freight driver for 33 years. I’ve heard so many stories about Mr. Yates and how he took good care of the rank and file guys. He always stood up to management to make sure his guys got a fair shake. It is men of the character of Harold Yates who assured working people in labor were able to be a part of the middle class. He was a champion of so many families like mine, a true champion.”

Visitation at the Wulff Woodbury Funeral Home, 2195 Woodlane Drive, is today from 4 to 9 p.m. Mass of Christion Burial at Transfiguration Catholic Church, 6133 15th St. N., Oakdale, is Friday at 10 a.m., with visitation at the church one hour prior to Mass. Interment is at Union Cemetery, Maplewood.