Obituaries

Brock Yates

October 21, 1933 - October 5, 2016

Brock Yates has died at the age of 82 after a long and courageous fight with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born and raised in Lockport New York, attended college in Geneva and spent most of his adult life living in Castile and the village of Wyoming in Wyoming County New York.

Considered a founding father of automotive journalism, he leaves behind a prolific legacy of columns, books and movies which span decades and embrace his incredible love and respect for all things motorsports.

Coming of age during the birth of NASCAR and Formula one, Brock’s childhood and teenage years were heavily influenced by motorsports and after graduating from Hobart College with a degree in History and a 4 year stint as an officer in the Navy, Brock dedicated his adult life and career to journalism.

Nicknamed the Assassin by his peers, Brock spoke truth to power, engendering a bevy of loyal followers, and ardent naysayers through his unparalleled wit and colorful, often biting commentary, raising the level of automotive journalism from a simple recitation of wins and losses into a multi-dimensional look at the sport in context to global themes, politics and personal insight.

Best known for creating The Cannon Ball Run Sea-to Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in response to the Iran oil embargo, Draconian insurance laws and the institution of a federally mandated 55 mile per hour speed limit. The race achieved cult status amongst enthusiasts leading him to write the popular movie Cannonball Run.

As a writer/ editor for Car and Driver magazine for 40 years, Brock also wrote for The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The American Spectator, Boating and Vintage Motorsports along with countless other publications. He created One Lap of America, authored 15 books, 2 screenplays and hundreds of columns during his career. He was also a commentator for CBS Sports and had 2 highly successful and acclaimed TV shows.

His legacy is twofold; first as unquestionably one of the most important and fiercely respected automotive writers of his time and secondly, but equally important, his legacy as a husband, father and grandfather is sacrosanct. He is survived by his children Brock Jr., Dan, Claire and Stacy and their respective spouses, Cyndy, Maggie, Bob and Todd. He also leaves behind his adored grandchildren Sarah, Scott and Leda and finally and most importantly, he is survived by his Lady Pamela, his wife, muse, partner, best friend and soul mate whom he thankfully remembered until the very end.

A memorial service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Brock Yates Tribute Fund at act.alz.org/goto/Cannonball. Local arrangements are being completed by Robinson & Hackemer Funeral Home, Warsaw. Online condolences at http://www.robinsonandhackemer.com.

Important Dates

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Oct 29.16 from robert young:
brock bought my fathers home at farmstead. you did wonderful things with that home. Brock knew my dad ansel skip young for a long time. always treated me very well. i will remember him fondly. hope the family is holding up.

Oct 19.16 from nancy thomasson barlow:
Dear Brocker, Danny abd Clare,

Our sympathies on the loss of your Dad. Our memories of the early years are filled with the excitement we experienced together. Our love to you. Ellen, Mark and Nancy

Oct 18.16 from Joe plossl:
Pam Sorry to hear of your loss
Sincerely
Joe Plossl

Oct 17.16 from Tommy Smith:
I grew up in Warsaw just a few miles from the Homestead. Brock has long been my larger than life idol as it relates to auto racing, business development and a contributing member of society Without being a burden to the family I have been regularly following the well being of Brock since our last seeing each other during his Lifetime Achievement Award in Rochester. It leaves a huge hole in my heart to now pray a final thanks and farewell for my childhood hero and silent mentor. You are a special family. Our thoughts are with you. Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with the rest of us who cherish his guidance, words and passion for Good nearly as much as yourselves. God has blessed us with the friendship , influence and brilliant humor of Brock . I can only hope to be half that to my family. .. Tommy Smith

Oct 15.16 from Rich and Shelly Baker:
Pam and Family, so sorry to hear about Brock. He was a great man and friend. Our prayers are with you.

Oct 11.16 from Dennis Bachulak:
Please accept our sincerest condolences on the loss of Brock

Oct 11.16 from Colleen Swyers Bean:
Thinking of all of the family at this difficult time. My sincere condolences. Many years ago, I babysat for Brock Jr, Dan, and Claire when they lived on Swyers Road in
Castile. My thoughts are with you.

Oct 10.16 from Jack Mulligan:
Thinking of you at this sad time. What a wonderful life Brock make for himself. Good memories for all. Jack and Carol

Oct 10.16 from Gerald,Dolores Legg:
Our deep condolences to the family. A very bright man but also humble.

Oct 9.16 from Daniel Gudsnuk:
Our deepest condolences to Brocks family.Enjoyed talking with him at Limerock when he had the HotRod there for a vintage event. He is bringing a impressive resume' with him. Dan and Marilyn

Oct 9.16 from Christopher Daehn:
My wife and I were sadend by the news. To the entire family we send our condolences. Brock is a true inspiration to my automotive career.