Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home

201 25th Ave North, Nashville, TN


Helen Marie Yates

August 8, 1938February 3, 2020

Helen Marie Hunley Glaser Yates, February 3, 2020 is preceded in death by late husband Jerome Glaser, daughter Sister Helen Marie Glaser O.P. stepdaughter Lucinda Yates Husband, brothers Lawrence Hunley, Paul Hunley, and sister Eleanor Ann Bledsoe. Parents Albert and Vivian Hunley. Helen is survived by husband Douglas Jeffries Yates, children, Leigh Glaser Wolfson (Ashton) San Francisco, CA, Christian Laura Glaser, Edith Lynn Glaser, Julie Yates Taylor (Robert) Chattanooga. Grandchildren, Julie Trabue Taylor, Robert Campbell Taylor III, Alexandra Leigh Wolfson, sisters Rosemary DeGraauw, Cecilia Marchesi, brother Daniel Hunley.

Helen was a native Nashvillian. She graduated from St. Cecilia Academy where she was President of the Glee Club, Majorette in the All Girls Marching Band and a Father Ryan Cheerleader. She studied classical music under Sister Mary Madeline. She often sang for small funerals and weddings, singing her first wedding at age 15. In her senior year Helen won a female disc jockey contest where she began broadcasting a live High School Hits Parade Show every afternoon and an additional live broadcast on Saturdays. This led her to becoming one of Nashville's first female disk jockeys. She represented WLAC in the United Way Beauty Pageant, was named Miss Tennessee USA Nationally. This title included traveling to New York where she made appearances on the Jack Parr Show and the Morning Show with Dave Garraway.

While continuing her work at WLAC Radio she began modeling for department store Cain Sloan working the Gene Kitchell Hat Shows and the Iris Room. This led to her career as a fashion, print, and runway model. She continued modeling and met and married the love of her life Jerome Glaser. They had four daughters. After the birth of their second daughter, she was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and quarantined for months. She became very involved in her cause to alert young Mothers of this illness. She became a spokesperson for the Easter Seal Foundation and Honorary Chairman of the American Lung Association. That year under her Chairmanship they surpassed their goal over fifty percent, and she was given the Key to the City by Mayor Beverly Briley. She served as secretary of the American Lung Association. She served on Board of Directors for The Chamber of Commerce, Fannie Battle, and The Florence Crittenton Day Home. She also volunteered as a "Pink Lady" at the old St. Thomas Hospital.

She and her late husband organized the first Music City Pro/Celebrity Tennis Tournament to benefit Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. She was on the Board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nashville and helped launch it's first Celebrity Telethon with WLAC TV for Jerry's Kids.

Helen was known as one of Nashville's top runway and print models. Having had numerous covers on the Tennessean Fashion Sections. She opened her first Modeling School in 1980, American Institute of Modeling (AIM). With her tremendous success and eye for beauty and talent she become know as "The Model Maker of The South" and named Tennessee Businesswoman of the Year. She became a leading speaker and consultant to other modeling agencies throughout. She was a gifted promoter and director. She opened a second Modeling School and Agency in Jackson, Tennessee. With the demand and growth in the Nashville market Helen opened "AMAX" American Models Actors and Extra's to include an acting and talent division.

Following the death of her first husband She married the second love of her life Douglas J. Yates, former Vanderbilt Basketball standout. They were married for 28 years. Being a city girl, Doug introduced her to the mountains where they spent their Summer vacations at her beloved High Hampton Resort in Cashiers N. C.

Hers was a life well lived. She battled with multiple health issues that slowed her down, but never stopped her. She gave of herself generously, loved deeply and cared for all. She had a vast and various group of friends that meant the world to her. They would tell her she lit up the room with her beauty. She loved family, cooking, and was the ultimate hostess when entertaining family and friends. Her granddaughter would say going to "Jojo's" to visit was like going to a festival.

As a devout Catholic her faith was very important to her. One of her fondest memories was a trip with her daughters to Lourdes and Rome where they had an audience with Pope Joh Paul II, now Saint John Paul II. She was a member of St. Henry's Catholic Church, Christ The King Catholic Church, the Ladies of Charity, Little Sisters of the Poor, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

She retired after twenty-five years but continued to do fashion shows for charitable organizations. Helen was a member of Hillwood Country Club. An avid golfer and longtime member of NWGA, National Women's Golf Association. She was former President of The Modeling Association of America, International. She also served on the Board of Directors of O'Moore College of Design. She was an active member of the National Catholic Business League and the Nashville Republican Women.

Helen was a remarkable Mother to her four daughters who were her greatest accomplishments. Her daughters were always her primary focus, as she was to them. Her daughters and her "Commodore" were the wind beneath her wings. She will always be remembered as a strong, generous woman. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.

The family extends their gratitude and appreciation to all who loved and touched Helen's life. She will be dearly missed and forever in our hearts.

A Private Mass of Christian Burial for Family only will be held Monday, February 10, at 1:00pm at The Church of The Assumption, 1227, 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208.

Memorials may be made in Helen's name to St. Cecilia Academy, American Lung Association, Lupus Foundation and Room In the Inn.


  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, February 10, 2020

Memories and condolences

Bring comfort and tell the story of your loved one’s lifetime. Leave a memory, tell a favorite story or share a kind word or condolence.

receive updates

when friends and family add new memories


for sharing memories and condolences

Learn more about the Yates name