Born in Bozeman, Montana, one of five children of Tom and Altha Yates.
Graduated from Central Valley HS in Spokane Valley, began college studies at Whitworth, before serving in the Army Signal Corps, toward the end of WWII, serving in France and Belgium.
Following honorable discharge from the Army, Les resumed his college studies at Gonzaga, and eventually transferred to Washington State University, where he earned a BS in Forestry.
Les met and married the love of his life, Phyllis Allen, in December 1948.
Together they lived in Pullman while he completed his studies in Forestry, and then moved together to Alabama where he began his 32 year career with the US Forest Service.
His career took him to four different states, culminating in Bend, Oregon.
Les is survived by his wife of 64 years, Phyllis, son Ken (Jennifer), son Dan (Nita), daughter Kathy (Derrick), and grandsons Eric (Christina) and Adam.
After retiring in 1979, Les and Phyllis purchased five acres on Wild Rose Prairie north of Spokane, where they built the home which they enjoyed for many years before moving into north Spokane to be closer to their church and many of their friends.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, 21 February, 2 PM, at Country Homes Christian Church, 8415 N. Wall St., Spokane.