History & Staff

Our History

Our History

In 1935, Joseph "Joe" William Yates and his partner, Mr. Burns, opened Burns and Yates Funeral Home in Fort Pierce. However, within a few months Mr. Burns moved to Miami. The original funeral home was located at 524 North Fourth Street across from Padrick Chevrolet. At this time, Yates Funeral Home was also an ambulance service. Our original phone number was HOWARD 789.

In 1943, Joe Yates bought Fee Mortuary and their unfinished building on US#1. By 1944, Joe, his wife Hattie, and daughter Sally, welcomed baby Bill into the new funeral home.

In the early 1950's, Joe converted an old house in Okeechobee, Florida to a funeral home. In 1965, Joe began construction on a new funeral home. Sadly, Joe died before he could see the funeral home completed. The Okeechobee Funeral Home was sold in the early 1970's. The funeral home is now the Okeechobee Presbyterian Church.

After Joe passed in January of 1965, Bill commuted from Fort Pierce to Miami to get his degree. Bill completed Mortuary Science at Miami Dade in 1967.

In 1978, Bill Yates opened Yates Funeral Home in Port Saint Lucie.

Yates Funeral Home joined Order of the Golden Rule, an International Funeral Organization, in 1962 and is still a member.

Our Valued Staff

  • Bill  Yates

    Bill Yates, Funeral Director

    “I’m excited about working with Tom and his sons, they are like family to me and I know that they will continue serving the people of our community the way I’d want them to be served.”
    Bill Yates, known to many as "Billy," was born and raised in Fort Pierce, Florida. He grew up in the funeral business. He worked with his father, Joe Yates, until his death in 1965. Bill Yates graduated from Dan McCarty High School in 1962 and from Miami-Dade in Mortuary Science Program in 1967. He was past president and member of Emergency Medical Services Board from 1983 – 1990. Bill was president of the Tri-County Funeral Directors Association in 1976-1977. Additionally, Bill has been a long-standing and active member of many clubs and fraternal organizations throughout our community.

    He and his wife, Betsy, have been married for over 40 years. When he is not helping families, Bill enjoys fishing, hunting, and collecting coins.

  • Thomas  Conway, Sr.

    Thomas Conway, Sr., Owner and Funeral Director

    “When Bill gave me the opportunity to work with him, I was truly honored. Just like Bill, my family’s legacy has been about helping people and I hope to blend the heritage of the Yates family into my own.”
    Tom Conway, Sr. has been licensed as a funeral director since 1980 and is a fourth generation funeral director. Working a large part of his career for his own family’s funeral home, in 2003 Tom purchased the Bass Funeral Home, located in Okeechobee, Florida. Then in 2007, Tom acquired Yates Funeral Home and Crematory from Bill and his family, and in 2010, Tom purchased Buxton Funeral Home and Crematory, also located in Okeechobee. Soon after he merged the Bass, Buxton & Conway Familys and Okeechobee is now Buxton, Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home & Crematory.

    Tom is married to Lisa and they have seven children and 4 grandchildren; their oldest, Tommy (Tom, Jr.), is a fifth generation funeral director. Tori his wife is also very active in the day to day operations of the Funeral Home. Brenna (Tom and Lisa’s 5th child) is currently attending the Funeral Service Program and will join the Funeral Home full time (as a Funeral Director) in the spring 2019 when she graduates. Patrick, Kaitlin and Kaela have chosen successful career paths outside the funeral profession and Baleigh is attending college at this time. Tom and Lisa’s youngest Quinn passed away in 2003.

  • Lisa Conway

    Lisa Conway, Journey Services Representative and Certified Life Celebrant

    Lisa Conway has maintained many different roles in the family's funeral homes for over 30 years. During this time Lisa has raised her and Tom's 7 children as well as owned and operated other businesses. In more recent years, Lisa has taken on an even more active and full time role in our Funeral Homes. Lisa is also a Certified Life Celebrant and Journey Services Representative caring for our families through Provisions Advances Funeral Planning, and Treasures Remembrance Services.

    Through the years Lisa has been inspired by the way Tom cares for families and realized it is a true calling to journey with each family. Because of this It has become Lisa's passion as well to serve our families each and every day.

    When not at the office Lisa enjoys spending time with her family that now includes her granddaughters Jayden (Patrick) and Ireland (Kaela) and her grandsons Declin and Cooper (Tommy and Tori). Lisa also enjoys traveling, working with youth and volunteering in various ways throughout the community.

  • Thomas G. Conway Jr

    Thomas G. Conway Jr, Funeral Director

    Tom, Jr. is Tom and Lisa Conway's oldest son and he is a fifth generation funeral director. On December 13, 2014, Tom married Tori and they have one "kid", their standard poodle, Sarge.

    When Tom has a spare moment, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends and he enjoys boating and fishing, pretty much any type of RC vehicle (the bigger and faster the better), and doing a little trailblazing in his Jeep.

  • Tori Conway

    Tori Conway, Accounting

    Tori joined the Conway Family (officially) on December 13, 2014 when she married Tom, Jr. and then, not too long after, she joined the Yates Funeral Home family in January 2015.

    Tori enjoys life! She loves to share any time she can with family and friends and she appreciates any opportunity to work with the families who entrust their loved ones to our care.

  • Brenna Conway

    Brenna Conway, Administrative Assistant

  • Kelly L. Squires

    Kelly L. Squires, Funeral Director

    Kelly was born and raised on Long Island. She majored in Mortuary Science at the State University of New York at Farmingdale where she earned an Associates Degree in Applied Science. She has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1991, and is currently licensed in the states of Florida and New York. Kelly worked for a family owned funeral home in Huntington Station, NY for 17 years before relocating to Port St. Lucie in 2005. After working in the corporate world for several years, she returned to a family owned funeral home, joining Yates Funeral Home in 2012.

    Kelly is dedicated to helping families at their time of need, and loves to help create lasting memories that truly reflects the life that was lived. When not at work she enjoys reading, scuba diving, but mostly spending time with her family. She has two beautiful children and three dogs.

  • Venus Rodriguez

    Venus Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant

    Venus is fairly new to Florida. Born in Brooklyn New York and raised in New Jersey, she moved to Port St. Lucie in 2013. After being a stay at home mother to two children for five years, she decided to take a leap of faith and re-enter the work field. With a degree in business and working in prior administrative positions, she was given the opportunity to join Yates Funeral Home and gladly accepted. She is happy to work for a group of people who sincerely care for the families they meet on a daily basis. In her spare time, Venus spends it most raising and enjoying her children. The day-to-day life of being a mother is what she lives for!

  • Chris Reyes

    Chris Reyes, Facilities Maintenance

    Chris Reyes joined the Yates Funeral home Family on February 29, 2016.

    Chris enjoys Football, Nascar, and UFC fighting. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends. Chris was born in Miami,Fl. He has been married to his beautiful wife Lori for 16 years, and has 1 son and 2 step-children, and 2 grandchildren. Chris handles the maintenance and other responsibilities, such as comforting the families in their time of need, and all other responsibilities as needed for Yates Funeral Home at all their locations.

    Chris has enjoyed working with the family and staff of Yates Funeral Home, and looks forward to working with them for many more years to come.

  • April Scotto

    April Scotto, Funeral Attendant

  • Dennis Wells

    Dennis Wells, Funeral Attendant