Howard Eubanks Yancey, Sr. was born September 26, 1921, in Grayson, Georgia. He was the only child of Grady H. and Berta Eubanks Yancey. His family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, near Grant Park when he was a young boy, and they continued to live in the Atlanta area until he completed high school.
In 1940, he met Hazel Videra Bachelor who had moved to Atlanta from Gadsden, Alabama. She and his cousin, Lear, worked at S&W Cafeteria together. Howard and Hazel were married September 27, 1941, in Atlanta. They moved to Pensacola, Florida, where he was already employed at the Army Air Corps station. On October 26, 1942, their first child, Patricia Joyce Yancey (Sutton) was born.
In 1943, Howard was inducted into the Army Air Corps at Camp Blanding in Jacksonville, Florida. His basic training took place in Gulfport, Mississippi, and then he was stationed at Wichita Falls, Texas. Hazel joined him there, pulling a 21-foot travel trailer that became their home. In 1944, Howard was granted a medical discharge due to a kidney ailment. He moved his wife and daughter back to Atlanta where he found employment with Cities Service, an oil wholesaler. In 1946, their second child, Howard Eubanks Yancey, Jr. (Chip) was born. Howard was transferred to Albany, Georgia, where he continued to travel as a salesman for Cities Service for about three years.
In 1950, he moved his family to Nashville, Georgia, where he came off the road and became an agent for Arkansas Fuel Oil. His dream was to build and own a chain of service stations. He had started toward this goal with the purchase of two small stations in Nashville and Adel, Georgia.
In December 1953, he entered the hospital in Atlanta where he was injected with a dye to X-ray his kidneys. He had an allergic reaction to the dye from which he never recovered. His blood cells continued to break down and on January 6, 1954, he died. He is buried in Westview Cemetery in Nashville, Georgia. His third child, Mary Howard Yancey (Clayton) was born in June 1954.
His widow, Hazel Yancey, continued to live, work, and raise their children in Nashville. Rather than operate a chain of service stations, she adapted his dream to a single wholesale oil dealership and operated Yancey Oil Company in Nashville until her retirement in 1987. At 86 years of age, she currently enjoys working in her yard at her home in Nashville and going to her mountain home in Stecoah Valley, North Carolina, during the warm months.