HARRIET ARDALA ‘DALA’

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Harriet Ardala ‘Dala’ Harding Yates of Natchitoches passed away Friday, April 14, 2017 at Natchitoches Regional Medical Center ICU. There will be a private family memorial at a later date. Dala was born July 1, 1940, in Paris, Tenn., to the late Everett Harris Harding and Mary Katherine Hopper Harding. She attended Millington High School, graduating in 1958. During high school, she was crowned Miss Millington and was an outstanding majorette. Dala attended Memphis State University, where she was Head Majorette and was known for her fire-twirling half-time shows. She met Wayne Edward Yates, a Memphis State basketball star from Little Rock, Ark., and they were married Feb. 1, 1963, in Memphis. Dala always said that marrying Wayne was the best thing she did in her life. Dala began teaching at EE Jeter Elementary, outside of Memphis. She advanced her career, moving up to the highly respected prep-school, Germantown High School, in Germantown, Tenn. She taught biology and journalism, turning the journalism department into an award winning program. In 1980, the Yates family moved to Natchitoches. Dala began teaching journalism and English at Natchitoches Central High School. She built the school’s journalism department from the ground up and added photography classes to the school’s curriculum. Dala was named Natchitoches Central High Teacher of the Year. She served as the President of the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association and taught sessions for the LSPA summer camps. Dala earned a Master’s Degree in journalism education from Northwestern and later served as adjunct professor at Northwestern State University. She also started a photography business, providing services for everything from little league teams to weddings. She retired from education in 1998. After retirement, she took art classes at NSU, worked in her garden and spent time with her family. Her many talents included sewing, drawing, twirling, dancing, writing, painting, knitting, crocheting, crafting and photography. Dala was known for her infectious enthusiasm, her generosity, her compassion and her unyielding love for her husband and family. She was intelligent, talented, witty, loving, hard working, creative, strong willed and one of the greatest positive influences on the lives of all those who knew her. Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Wayne; four children, Dawayna Sanders (Dennis) of Pineville, Wayne Yates Jr. (Dawn) of The Woodlands, Texas, Kathrin Yates Nielson of Wimberley, Texas, and Elizabeth Yates DuBois May of Natchitoches; nine grandchildren, Keith Sanders, Ashley Sanders, Nicholas Sanders, Rachael Sanders, Kelby DuBois, Kelcey DuBois, Tristan DuBois, Grace May and Preston Nielson; four great-grandchildren, Isabella Sanders, Virginia Sanders, Memphis Hayes and Axel Hayes. Dala was preceded in death by her siblings, Bill Harding, Jerry Harding and Donnie Harding. Services under the direction of Kramer Funeral Home

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