February 7, 2023
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Gone too soon: A young woman who dedicated her life to saving others, lost hers, far too soon

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Kelsey Jordan Yates passed away from fatal injuries sustained in a one car accident on Tuesday morning, July 16. She was 23-years-old.

In her memory, her family has set up a fund at First Bank in Camden where donations can be made to the Kelsey Yates Scholarship for EMS Education. Donations may be made in person or by phone, (731) 584-8006.

There is also a scholarship sponsored by Priority EMS that will fund a student’s EMS education every year beginning this fall.

According to her family, Kelsey died coming home following her shift as an Ambulance Emergency Medical Technician. Her funeral was Saturday, where the highly respected and massively loved young woman received full Emergency Medical Services (EMS) honors.

Although her death and funeral was a representation of the impact Kelsey had on her work and home community, it’s her life that her family wants to remember. Kelsey’s older sister, Jessalyn Parker recalled, “Kelsey was the picture of de- termination, that started when we were young. She would get my Mama all upset because she would do what she wanted and didn’t listen to anyone. It continued on throughout her life and made her strong. She was told by some classmates that she couldn’t be a cheerleader… so, she practiced and made the squad–just because.”

Parker continued, “Once Kelsey got her mind set on something, she was going to do it no matter what. She never gave up. She loved life and loved happiness. She woke up every day with a determination to be happy no matter what. She would definitely roll her eyes at how much everyone has been crying the past week. There are no words that could adequately describe the beauty that was my little sister— inside and out. She was one of those people that you just loved. She never knew how pretty she was. I think that’s what made her so gorgeous. She wasn’t ever trying to impress anyone. She was just Kelsey. She danced to her own music. She was sunshine mixed with a hurricane. She loved her husband and her family. She loved her critters. She loved people. She loved laughter. She loved life. She loved.”

Her friend Jennifer Eoff spoke of Friday’s testimony being a picture of Kelsey’s life. She said, I’m not sure how to explain what we witnessed on Friday, July 19th. More love than one could possibly muster in a whole life was shown to a 23-year-old that was as big as life itself. She was honored in every way possible. I am not even sure what was the most loving part. The parents that held strong for hours to let everyone have that last minute to speak of their precious daughter. Was it the beautiful music that would mean so much to her? It could have been the way the grandpa had the perfect words, or the preacher with many beautiful things to say. Well, maybe when every- one stood and the masses of heroes walked among us to show their love. Could have been the salute as she was loaded into the back of her ambulance one last time while being escorted out by a husband that is so broken now, loaded in by men she has known for years. The fact that her procession spoke volumes of how many loved her. The signs from above to show she is still here among us…or maybe the way her horses were close to her last resting place to say their goodbyes. Then there was the last call with no response from the beloved Kelsey Jordan Yates 123. Could have been the fly over of three different helicopter companies. Maybe when the doves were released and they decided in Kelsey style to stick around. Then as gracious as Kelsey, her family spending time with everyone for hours at the church after.” Eoff said so much love was shown that day that it was difficult to just pick out one thing.

She said, “Her family showed where she got her outstanding nature from. Her friends and family showed how much love she had mustered. She came into this world with a love for life and was sent home with love of the community and so much more. What a beautiful soul Kelsey is, was, and will always be!”

Kelsey’s mom, Lore Wimberly had the final word. She said, “I definitely want to tell everyone thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love and support for our beautiful Kels. It truly lets us know how much she was loved by all that knew her. It has helped give us some com- fort knowing that our daughter, though just 23-years-old, made such a huge impact and for that I am beyond grateful. Going forth from this day on I strive to be more like the beautiful soul that Kelsey is and show the world the light and kindness that she has.”




Pamela Mirabella

Pamela Mirabella

Pamela Mirabella is an award-winning journalist and Editor-in-Chief of The Camden Chronicle.

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