Obituary for Yolanda "Lindabet" Rahming (Gatlin)
Yolanda Yvette Gatlin-Rahming was born on July 22, 1959 in the quaint town of Cairo, Georgia to the late Nancy Jackson and John "Ted" Hicks. The oldest of three girls, her sisters (Faye and Zenovia) described Yolanda as spunky, sassy, bossy, fierce, stubborn, independent, shy, sometimes a bit tom-boyish, but most of all a natural leader.
"LindaBet", as she was affectionately called during her youth, attended lower and middle school in Cairo. In 1974, she was sent to Miami, Florida to live with and take care of her ailing maternal grandmother, Lucinda Gatlin. While there she attended the Miami Jackson Senior High School, graduating in the Class of 1977.
It was also there that Yolanda would meet and fall in love with her future husband, Gregory Emanuel Rahming. She, being known as the country church girl, and he, the city boy, son of a Holiness preacher, seemed to be a match made in heaven. They both shared a great love for God, family and, most of all, music, singing in the school and church choirs together. In the summer of 1977, as fate would have it, following the passing of her grandmother, she would return to Cairo, putting their budding relationship on hold for awhile.
Yolanda would go on to further her education by enrolling part-time at Bainbridge Junior College, and received a degree in Accounting somewhere between 1980-1982. She then set her sights on the big city of Atlanta, where many would move to get ahead in their future endeavors. In 1982, she was hired at the Atlanta Fire Department under Chief William Perrin. Her office name became Ms. Goodwrench because she knew how to fix almost anything. Then it was changed to Yogi because she was smarter than the average bear. It was here that she met Catherine Hammonds, who became one of her closest and most devoted best friends. Also during this period, Yolanda and Gregory were reunited and married in November of 1985. To this union was born their one and only child-- the dashingly handsome Kristopher Emanuel Rahming.
After Chief Perrin retired, Chief Kenneth Allen became her supervisor, and he made her be on time and sit still for hours by putting her on the switchboard. This was not her style at all and she was determined not to conform. So with little Kristopher in tow, she walked across the street to the wonderful Georgia State University and enrolled part-time in night classes, later graduating with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. During her studies she also worked for E.R. Mitchell Construction, doing his bookkeeping and handling his computers. Always looking for greater opportunities, Yolanda left the Fire Department and was hired in 1993 by Paul Howard in the Solicitor's Office of Fulton County as his Network Administrator. After Mr. Howard was elected as the District Attorney, she continued working in that office under Carmen Smith until her retirement in 2010.
Yolanda loved to wear many hats and her greatest was singing. Blessed with a natural Gospel soprano voice, she joined Cathedral of Faith COGIC and, later, Word of Faith Love Center and Cathedral. She served diligently in the choirs, often being used as one of their primary soloists. A deep woman of faith, she believed this was how she could best use her gifts.
Yolanda had an immense love of research and education. This undoubtedly led her to the next, and probably most enjoyable, chapter of her short but busy life. Following retirement, she joined one of her best friend's, Darletta Strothers, tutoring business; later starting her own company called "A Better Way Tutoring." This new journey took her out of Georgia to South Carolina, where she was able to provide tutoring and encouragement to so many young people throughout South Carolina under a federal grant. Retirement also meant she was able to devote more time to the education and care of her wonderful, beautiful new grandson, Kristopher Emanuel Rahming II, "KJ-Doodle, whom she adored and loved beyond reproach.
In 2012, Yolanda was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, which did not stop her from pursuing all of her interests. From 2014-2017, she even worked as a substitute teacher for the City of Atlanta, while at the same time doing one-on-one tutoring for children who were failing in school. She worked tirelessly until her secret battle made it impossible to continue.
In November of 2017, although she had sought out a holistic path to treating this disease and enjoying the MANY hours of research connected to this approach, her health started to deteriorate quickly. Yolanda (who always did it her way!!!), after five plus years of dedicated treatment, decided it was time to go home.
First stop-- 1240 Kimberly Road to be sure everything was in order there. Then on to her final stop-- 1 Heaven's Gate Avenue. In the early morning hours on February 7, 2018, "LindaBet," Yogi, Yolanda Yvette Gatlin-Rahming quietly slipped away to finally rest.
Cherishing her memory and also mourning their loss are her devoted son, Kristopher Emanuel; one grandson, Kristopher Emanuel II "KJ-Doodle"; beloved former husband, Gregory Emanuel; two sisters, Faye Newton (Brittany and Michael) and Zenovia Harris (Demetrius, Deboriah, Terrance, Shirnantes, and Erin); sister-in-law, Denice Funderburk; brother-in-law, Keith F. Rahming; seven sister-friends, Catherine Hammonds, Darletta Strothers, Dobie Epps, Sonia McWhorter, Thalia J. Watson, Kamisha Thomas, Gloria Bell-Cairo; two brother-friends, Edward Rhodes Jr. and Christopher Gregory Scott; and a host of grand-nieces, nephews extended relatives, and friends too numerous to mention at this time.
Celebration of Life Service will be held Thursday, February 15th, 2018, 11:00 am, at Word of Faith Love Center 2435 Ben Hill Road Atlanta, Georgia 30344. Interment Greenwood Cemetery.
Public Viewing will be Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 10:00 am until 6:00 pm at Herschel Thornton Mortuary 3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW Atlanta, Georgia 30331.
The family will receive guest for a visitation on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm at Herschel Thornton Mortuary 3346 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW Atlanta, Georgia 30331.
In lieu of flowers, Yolanda requested that donations be made towards a college fund for her grandson "KJ".