° empty

Charles Yarbrough leaves lasting impact

NATCHEZ — Charles Yarbrough was not born in Natchez but his business and philanthropic impact can still be felt today.

The Louisiana native and former U.S. Navy captain acquired Natchez Ford, Lincoln, Mercury in 1991, operating it for 15 years. Yarbrough died Thursday at the age of 73.

Woody Allen, Allen Petroleum president, served with Yarbrough on the Natchez Adams Economic Development Authority.

“He was a great board member who cared deeply for Natchez and Adams County,” Allen said. “He put forth many hours trying to assist in any way he could to generate economic development for our area.”

Allen said he and Yarbrough’s joint service time, which was more than 10 years ago, was rocked by industry closures in Adams County. Despite the tough times, Allen said, Yarbrough kept a clear vision of what he wanted.

“He was a big believer in wanting an industrial park and having acreage for the future growth and development of industry,” Allen said. “He worked diligently trying to make that happen.”

“He believed in the people, the community and cared deeply about trying to make good things happen.”

Yarbrough was a member of Jefferson Street United Methodist Church and received 15 Distinguished Achievement Awards from the Ford Motor Company during his 39 years in the retail car business, which included tenures in Natchez and Prescott, Ark.

He retired in 2006, and his son Brad became the owner of Natchez Ford.

Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. today at the Natchez City Cemetery. He is survived by his wife and two sons.