Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Dr. K Lemone Yielding, March 25, 1931 – May 3, 2014
Dr. Lerena Wade Yielding, September 16, 1943 – May 3, 2014
Tuscumbia, AL

K Lemone and Lee suffered fatal injuries as a result of a car accident Saturday afternoon, May 3, 2014. They are survived by seven children, K Lemone Yielding, Jr., Michael L. Yielding, Teresa Y. Rawson, Riley L. Yielding, Elaine L. Blodgett, Laura C. Blodgett, Katrina Y. Hughes, nine grandchildren, Summer Gallaway, Nash Yielding, K. Lemone Yielding III, Morgan Yielding, Riley Rawson, Michaela Yielding, Eliza Hughes, Asa Hausmann, and Mills Hughes, and five siblings, Dr. Katrina Yielding (KLY), John Hauge (LWY), Anne Besterman (LWY), Samuel Hauge (LWY), and Richard Hauge (LWY).

K. Lemone Yielding was born in Auburn, AL to Riley L. Yielding and Bertie Dees Yielding.  He graduated from Auburn University (B.S.) and the University of AL Birmingham (M.D.) and went to the National Institutes of Health (NIH, Clinical and Basic Research Division) in Bethesda, MD for ten years.  He returned to the University of AL Birmingham where he was the Head of the Dept. of Molecular Biology in the Medical School.  Later he was the Chairman of Anatomy at the University of South Alabama Medical School, Mobile, Vice-President of Research and the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of TX Medical Branch, Galveston.

Lerena Wade Yielding was born in Wilmington, DE to Erling B. Hauge and Louise Mills Faircloth Hauge.  She graduated from the University of AL (B.S.), the University of AL Birmingham (Ph.D.), and the University of TX Medical Branch Galveston (M.D.).

Upon returning to Alabama in the mid 1990’s, K. Lemone and Lerena settled in Tuscumbia, AL. K Lemone practiced Oncology and ER medicine while Lerena opened her own medical practice.  In their spare time they preserved wild spaces and nurtured their love of all growing things.  They took great joy in their family and were good to the earth and each other.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to:
Doctors Without Borders (here)
The American Cancer Society (here)
The Nature Conservancy (here)

We, the children, invite you to share remembrances and condolences by posting a comment.  To do this, click on the comment link below and type in the designated box.  Then click on "Comment as," choose either "Anonymous" or "Google Account," and then click "Publish."

Received in the mail on Monday, August 11 from the Alabama State Senate:


30 comments:

  1. laurie blodgett: on behalf of the children we encourage family and friends to share their condolences and remembrances of our parents. we loved them dearly and miss them very much.

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    1. Dear Laurie, I am writing to tell you and all of your siblings how very sorry I am that you have suffered this terrible tragedy. I was stunned when I learned the news - such vigorous and amazing people: Lee and Lemone Yielding. I remember you, your sisters Lanie and Katie when you lived in Mobile, Al. I was a student in your father's lab and after we had our first little baby girl Lanie babysat her a couple of times. Your parents were incredible individuals. I admired them very much. Your father gave me a job in his lab when no one else was terribly interested in my abilities. When I started in the PhD program, I joined his lab and he was an extraordinary mentor. Just after I joined his lab, my mother became very sick and she died when I was in my first year of the PhD program. She had lung cancer and it was clear she would not live to see me finish my degree. (My father had died in a car wreck three years before). I think your dad understood the complexities in an amazing way. Lemone Yielding wrote my mother a letter (she lived in north Alabama) and told her that he knew she was ill and that her life was short, but that he wanted her to know that I would be a good scientist. She treasured that letter as you can only imagine. I in turn treasured him for taking the time to do such a compassionate and caring act. He was an amazing mentor and helped me many times in my career. I sought his advice and it was always 'spot on!" At the time he mentored me he was the chair of the department and was respected by all. Now, fast forward ~30 years later, I am the chair of a department (of Cell Biology/Anatomy at the Medical College of Georgia). Many times, when confronted with a serious situation in my duties as chair, I ask myself: what would Lemone do? He had such integrity, character, humor, talent, intellect, honor - I can not begin to express my admiration for him. Lee was such a great fit with him - always questioning, always interested, so inquisitive. She was a person of great strength and determination - very quick witted! Together, what a couple! I can remember going to visit them in Tuscumbia as they were working on the house - how proud they were of the home, their mountain, their family, their work. Just incredible, caring, conscientious people who did the right thing so naturally. I am very sorry that this terrible tragedy occurred and very sorry for all of you - your sisters and Therea, Riley, K.Lemone, Michael. All of you... Lemone and Lee: they were extraordinary individuals and I will miss them terribly.

      My most sincere condolences,
      Sylvia B. Smith, 98 Fallmouth Street, North Augusta, SC 29841
      sbsmith@gru.edu

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    2. Sylvia- thank you so much for the beautiful words.
      Love, Katie

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  2. Two wonderful people who will be greatly missed! I have been praying for your family and will continue to do so. Mark Williams

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had the right words to say, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. And that I am available anytime if there is anything I can do. Much love, Betsy F.

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  4. Teressa. My heart goes out to you. You are a shining example of love. Love of family and a treasure for all your many friends. Ellen Taylor …

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  5. Dr. K Lemone and Dr. Lee were two of the nicest people that I had the pleasure of knowing. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the family, may God be with all of you and help you through this difficult and sad time.

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  6. There are no words to describe your loss, your pain, and my sympathy. I can only say their love for one another was unique and an inspiration for all...sending all i can muster your way.

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  7. Dr. Yielding was my hematologist in the mid 90s in Alabama. I loved him! He was so sweet and truly cared about his patients. I was honored for him to be my dr and I thought a lot of him. He always walked in with a smile on his face. He will be missed!

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  8. I can't imagine how many people's lives have been made better for having come in contact with the Yieldings, even just a little. I got to meet them twice. Their warmth was contagious. I've only known Katie for two years (almost)... yet I've heard Katie ask so many times, "Do you want me to call my dad?" or "Do you want to talk to my mom about it?" How special to have parents so generous and loving and smart. I am so happy that I was able to meet them just a little. I can't imagine how deeply it must hurt to have them gone so suddenly, without getting to say goodbye. Know that we Arringtons are looking forward to being with you again, Katie and the Hughes family! Whatever we can do to ease things during the long time it will take to feel operational again, you can count on us!

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  9. I have been Dr. L. Yieldings patient for several months. She was a wonderful doctor who opened my eyes to the importance of eating right, taking care of myself and family. I am so sad to hear of their passing and deeply sorry for their children. It will be hard to find a doctor as dedicated to her patients as she was. God bless to all of their family.

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  10. My mom and K.Lemone were first cousins..her father Wesley and Riley being brothers. What an honor to have known K. and delight in being family. The lives he touched and his impact are too great to measure. My deepest regards to all.

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  11. Teresa, the Moses Family sends big hugs and prayers to your family and siblings. You and Riley have a lot of their qualities, what a lovely couple and gifts they shared in life. May you lean on each other and your faith to help you through. We are here if you need anything.....

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  12. Dr. [Lemone] Yielding treated my husband briefly when he was going through cancer treatments in 1995. He was so kind and helpful and we appreciated his caring nature.
    We are deeply sorry for your tremendous loss and will be praying for your family.
    Lynn (Mrs. Rick) Suddith
    Russellville.

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  13. On behalf of the Blodgett cousins and family, we are united in offering our condolences, prayers, strength and love to you all as you process this enormous loss. Our hearts are broken, but take joy in the knowledge that Lee and Lemone are now in the loving arms of our Lord and Savior, and that one day we will all be together again for eternity. All our love, Arthur & Suzy, Clark & Mary Kate, Matthew & Tammy, David & Laura. Chantal & Michael, Joshua, Jessica, Ciel, Christina, Sean, Connor, Logan, Keilan, Danielle, Camryn, Colby and Nash

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  14. Everytime I look at those pictures, my eyes fill full of tears ... What wonderful people. What a tragic loss.

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  15. I worked for Droke Hearing Center where I got to know Dr. (Lorene) Yielding on a very personal level. I was always intimidated by her great knowledge and love of medicine, but she never treated me less than her equal. I developed a great respect for her during the eight years I served as her hearing practitioner. She often talked about her children and grandchildren. It was evident the two were a close and loving couple who will be greatly missed. Thank you for creating this page and inviting those of us who have been touched by your parents lives, to share our condolences and memories. God bless you all.

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  16. I had the pleasure of working for Dr. Lemone while he was at the University of South Alabama. He was a gentleman, a scholar, and he loved Lee very much. A tragic loss for everyone. My condolences to his family and colleagues. They will be missed.

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  17. My mom, Theresa Copado worked for Dr. Yielding as his assistant at UTMB. He and your mom were very kind people. I remember visiting often with him. My Mom always spoke so highly of the both of them. My condolences to all of you...

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  18. Lemone was my graduate advisor at the University of Alabama. The lab was a most amazing and wonderful place to work thanks to him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was so supportive of everyone who came through there. There was always a lot of merriment and a certain amount of mischief in the lab. My time working there was one of the happiest times of my life, and we all knew that the atmosphere started at the top. He had a marvelous innate curiosity about just about everything, it seemed. It was infectious.
    I subsequently became a physician and always looked forward to seeing just how long he would be able to continue to practice—he was a model. He had a brilliant mind and an amazing capacity to do physical work. My husband and I visited Lee and Lemone at their home about 2 years ago. That was his first time to meet the two of them. He was also astonished at how active he was both mentally and physically. Neither of could believe they had built that amazing home on their own - - at any age. They were obviously a good team. Lee was not working in the lab during my graduate studies, so I only came to know her much later through a few visits, and very much through the internet. We often shared fun emails. She was pretty amazing, too. Seems that together they could do anything.

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  19. Prakash Kulkarni
    Teresa, My heartfelt condolenses to you and your siblings. Its hard to imagine that they are no longer with us. My Late wife Mahmooda, worked with Lemone for postdoctoral research at UAB in Birmingham, Alabama. During that time we got to know both of them. Through the years we kept in touch with each other. Last December I even got a Christmas card from them. They were a model of a perfect couple. Always smiling and what an honor and a privilage to get to know them. They visited our home a few years back when their daugter graduated from Business school at Univ of Virginia. I have lots of pictures of them that brought back all the memories. May God Bless their soul and Bless the Yielding family. I will miss them.

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  20. To the family: I am so sorry for your loss. This planet, Earth, loss two wonderful beautiful people on May 3, 2014, in a tragic automobile accident. Keep their memories forever in your mind and in your heart. Lee was like a sister to me. We went to The University together. I deeply regret that we did not stay in touch as much as I would have liked. Lee and Lemone I will miss both of you so much - until we meet again. Jay Faircloth

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  21. I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Lee and Lemone. They were exceptional people: smart, kind and always interesting. I had the pleasure of working with Lemone at both South Alabama and UTMB. For a long period of time, he was on the cutting edge of biomedical research. He was a prodigious scientist as demonstrated by his numerous publications, presentations and patents. Even more important, he was a mentor for a generation of scientists now working at colleges, universities and medical schools across the United States and Japan and even into Thailand. Unlike many senior research scientists who achieved such a level of success in the highly competitive area of biomedical research, Lemone ran his lab and his department on the basis of civility and mutual respect. At UAB, South Alabama and UTMB, there were other highly successful investigators who seem to feed their inflated self esteems by intimidating and disparaging those who worked for them and around them. Often they viewed Lemone as being too soft. Lemone treated everyone who worked for him or with him with kindness and respect. I never heard him say anything derogatory to a student or a technician. Consequently, his people not only respected him, they adored him. People in other labs worked long hours because they were afraid not to. People in Lemone’s lab worked long hours because they did not want to disappoint him. There were always a few who took advantage of the situation, both students and faculty. He realized this, but did not let it bother him. At each of these institutions, Lemone’s labs were as successful, if not more so, than those run by people who took great pride in being “hard-nosed”. No one ever left Lemone’s lab because they had an argument with him, or a shouting match in the hall, or because they felt mistreated. People left when they had completed their graduate work or post-doc or were offered higher paying positions at other institutions. Lemone taught students not only to be good scientists but also to be good people. Al Nichols

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  22. Thanks for the email. I was up in North Carolina visiting my grandkids when I found out about the their deaths last Tuesday from an undergrad working in my lab. He is from the Florence area and his parents are physicians who worked with Lee and Lemone. The news came as a real body-blow to me. I have kept in touch with them mainly by email, but occasionally when they passed through Birmingham they would stop by for a visit.

    There were no two finer people in the world and I have been fortunate to have had them have a major impact in shaping my life and career. I still abide by the tenets and principles that they gave me in my science, my family, and my life. Reflecting back on my time as a graduate student with them brings back great memories. One of the most notable memories that stands out is the time Charlie Cantrell (postdoc for Lemone) and I were helping Lemone put a roof on their house in Mountain Brook. It was hot carrying those bundles of shingles up the ladder to the roof. Lee was in the kitchen making a strawberry pie and had the kitchen vent on. Every time Charlie and I passed the vent, smelling the pie would almost make us faint it smelled so good. As long as she was baking those pies, we were ready to roof.

    They will be sorely missed. The world is much emptier place without them.

    David E. Graves, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Depart. of Chemistry, University of AL Birmingham

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  23. Dear Teresa,
    Thank you for sending this information, and thank you again for the phone call yesterday. I appreciate this very much. Lemone played a major role in my career, as you know. I always admired him for his leadership, vision and collegiality as a senior administrator at UTMB. He was an incredibly positive, supportive and thoughtful individual, and it was a blessing for me to have him as my boss at UTMB. He and I enjoyed a remarkable period of success there toward enhancing medical research.

    Dorothea and I are still feeling stunned by the news of the tragic accident. Our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.

    Warmest best wishes,

    Sam Wilson, NIH/NIEHS

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  24. Wow! I read these comments over and over and each time I find myself in awe, then tears when I think of how much more they had planned. I always knew Dad and Lee were accomplished in all endeavors they undertook; indeed put them both on some plane above “normal” human existence, but to read these testimonials from people outside the family opens a whole new perspective on their lives and achievements. To me, they were simply Dad and Lee, somehow immortal or at the very least super-human. It becomes clear as I read these rememberances however, that in many ways these friends and colleagues saw them in that same manner, perhaps because they treated all they regarded as friends in much the same manner in which in which they treated family. It is like I am learning about a whole different side of Dad that he seldom shared whether through humility, modesty or he came the true conclusion that I would not have understood a word he was saying. He was truly a GREAT man; She was truly a GREAT woman. I loved them both with all my heart and will miss, remember and seek to honor them every day for the rest of my normal, mortal life.

    With love to you both and the sincere belief that you are together forever somewhere in the cosmos,

    Mike Yielding, Son

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  25. I just heard the news and I am so sorry for your loss. Both your Mom and Dad were special people and I will always hold special memories of them in my heart. I worked for Dr. K. Lemone Yielding at UTMB when he was VP for Research and Dean. He was such a special human being when compassion for everyone and everything and a love for his wife and family that I could never compare to anyone else. He had a special way of solving problems and making you feel like family as well. Lee babysat for my daughter on several occasions simply because she wanted to. They both had a special gift from God for healing the sick and dedicated their lives to helping others. They truly believed in bettering yourself and advancing forward to obtain your goals. I will never forget their gentle, kind and compassionate ways and hope that your family can find some peace knowing they impacted the lives of so many. May they forever rest in peace. Deborah Gohmert

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  26. I would like to begin with giving my condolences to the family this is truly a tragedy. I did not have the pleasure of meeting Dr. Lerena Yielding but I know how special she was just by the way Dr. Yielding spoke of her. I had the honor to work along side Dr. Yielding the past couple years at Lawrence Medical Center and he was my favorite doctor to work with. I would always look forward to our shifts together because I would learn so many interesting things but my most cherished memories are the stories he would tell me of his childhood with my favorite being about the watch and the lesson he learned about patience trying to put it back together. I loved seeing the pictures of the quilt rack that he made with his own two hands or the day he was excited to show me the candleholders and coasters he had made. He loved his family, he would show pictures and video of his grandkids with the biggest smile on his face. I worked with him the night one of his grandkids were born and as soon as he got the news he came out glowing with pictures to share. He was never rude or unkind to any patient, he makes me want to be a better nurse by the example he lead. One important thing he taught me was to always say "You're Welcome" when someone says "Thank you". I think I speak for all the nurses here when I say he was a granddad to us all. He was always here to listen and offer encouragement anytime. He was loved and in his absence there is a hole in our hearts. My prayers are with all of the family. God bless.

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  27. Elise Faircloth BlackwellMay 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    The deaths of Lee and Lemone are devastating and I'm sure their children are grieving as are all who knew them. Lee lived with us in Tuscaloosa when she attended the University and we considered her another sister. We will never understand how two such happy people could be taken so suddenly. My love and my prayers are with the family. A contribution to the Nature Conservancy has been made in their name. All my sympathy, Elise

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