Vestal L “Pappy” Yeats passed away peacefully in his sleep Friday night, July 28, 2017. He was a veteran serving in the Navy during World War II, an Antarctic explorer, and a professor of geology at Texas Tech.
Pappy was born in Fort Worth in 1919, and later moved to the Rio Grande Valley where he grew up. He discontinued his studies at the University of Texas to enlist in the Navy after Pearl Harbor. Stationed in New Orleans between tours of duty in the Pacific, he met his future wife, Ouida Mae.
After the war, they moved to Austin where Pappy completed his degree in geology and later moved to Lubbock to complete his masters degree. As a professor of geology, he taught the freshmen classes, mineralogy and ran the geology labs.
During his tenure, he participated in three Texas Tech expeditions to Antarctica, mapping areas of the Shackleton and Beardmore Glaciers. Yeats Glacier is named for him.
Ouida passed away in 2003. He is survived by his son Austin, daughter-in-law Nina; grandson Tyler; and nephew Robert Haynes.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Vestal and Ouida Yeats Endowed Scholarship at Texas Tech.