D’Ree Yawn Natale ~ Small Town Girl

D'Ree Yawn, about 12 years old. Image detail from 1934 6th grade class photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA.

D’Ree Yawn, about 12 years old. Image detail from 1934 6th grade class photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA.

Ray City, Ga was the childhood home of  D’Ree Yawn Natale, born July 31, 1922.

D’ree was a daughter of Vera Laura Roberts. Vera Roberts was a neice of  Mollie Clements and James M. Studstill. In 1920,  seventeen-year-old Vera was living in her uncle’s household.   Her uncle was a deputy sheriff stationed at the sawmill in Ray City.  This would have been the Clements sawmill, which was a community of over 300 people in itself.  The Studstills had a large old, unpainted house in Ray City that was situated on the southwest corner at the intersection of Bishop Street and Jones Street. The 1920 census lists this house on Jones Street, but the front of the house actually faced Bishop Street. (Later, this home was owned by Pluma Batterbee, and has since been destroyed.)  The Studstills also had a a farm out on the northeast side of town.

D’Ree’s father was Clayton Samuel Yawn.  He was born and raised in Appling County,  and went on to be college educated and trained in the ministry. Some time before 1919 he came to live in Ray City.  However, he does not appear in the 1144 Georgia Militia District in the census of 1920.  It may have been during this time that Clayton was away at school.

Clayton Samuel Yawn and Vera Laura Roberts were married about 1921. D’Ree was born the following year.

In the 1930 census D’Ree Yawn and her family were living in Ray City, GA still boarding in the household of James and Mollie Studstill. D’Ree’s father, Clayton Yawn, then listed his profession as “commercial traveler” working in the “automobile accessories” industry.

Image (right) is detail from the 1934 Ray City School Grade 6 class picture.

Ray City School 1934

In 1935, when D’Ree was about thirteen years old, her parents were divorced in Florida.  D’Ree continued to live with her mother and siblings in Ray City.

D’Ree grew into one of the most attractive young women of Ray City.  She, her sisters and mother, were always noted for their  fashionable dress, and beautifully done makeup and hair.

At age 21, D’Ree Yawn married Michael F. Natale. They were married on April 9, 1944 at St. Peter’s Church, Haverstraw, NY.  Thereafter the couple made their home in New York.

D'Ree Yawn and Michael F. Natale, April 9, 1944.

D’Ree Yawn and Michael F. Natale, April 9, 1944.

NATALE, D’REE – D’Ree Natale, formerly of Garnerville, NY, passed away on November 12, 2003, at her home in Washingtonville, NY. She was 81. She was the beloved wife of the late Michael F. Natale whom she married on April 9, 1944 and together owned and operated Mike’s Taxi Service in Haverstraw for over 50 years. D’Ree was born on July 31, 1922 in Ray City, Georgia to the late Vera Roberts Yawn and Clayton Samuel Yawn. D’Ree is survived by her four loving children, Michael and wife Lois of West Nyack, Robert and wife Joanne of Washingtonville, Debra and husband Robert Klein of Campbell Hall and Jeffrey of Atlantic Highland, NJ; and a dear sister, Allene Stutzman of Pinehurts, North Carolina; cherished grandchildren Christine, Stephanie, Tiffanie, Dawn, Amy, Robert Jr., Jaimie, Alison, Jason, James and Matthew; and six great-grandchildren, Madison, Branden, Aiden, Gavin, Jackson and Ian along with several nieces and nephews. D’Ree was predeceased by a granddaughter, Lauren, a brother Caswell Yawn and a sister Laura Jean Yawn.

 Funeral Services were held at the T.J. McGowan Funeral Home in the Village of Haverstraw on Monday, November 17, at 10 AM. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Washingtonville, NY.

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1 Comment

  1. September 15, 2011 at 12:07 am

    […] Ray City, GA from about 1918 to about 1935.  He was the father of Caswell Yawn, Aline Yawn and  D’Ree Yawn, subject of the previous […]


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