For over 55 years Rilla Yeater has been involved in bowling activities, either as a participant or in the administration segment of the sport. It all started in 1957 after graduation from Garfield High School. She began her working career at General Tire. She was invited to join General's employee bowling league. She enjoyed it and her long love affair with bowling began. It grew from the local lanes in the Akron area to the national stage throughout the United States.
From that initial start at General, Rilla widened her horizons, joining two other city leagues and achievements. She was twice named to the Akron Beacon Journal's All-Star team in 1975 and '78. She captured the 1974 Woman's Bowling Association all-events crown and the singles championship in 1977. Her bowling prowess got her elected to the Tri-County Hall of Fame.
On the national scene, Rilla competed annually in the United Sates Bowling Congress (USBC) Woman's Championship Tournament in Reno, Nevada, making the prize list fairly often. "This is my 43 would like to reach 50, however I don't think I have the energy to do it, she said.
In 1972, she was introduced to the administration side of bowling when she asked to be the publicity chair for the Akron Woman's Bowling Association. She did such a great job that two years later, the group elected her to its Board of Directors. She served as its president from 1992 until 2009 when the group merged with the youth and men's organizations. In the 80's and 90's, she served as a VicePresident and Director for the Ohio Woman's Bowling Association.
She proved to be as talented in management as in competing. When the Woman's International Bowling Congress brought her on board as a Director, she served in this capacity for nine years and then was elected vice-president. Tapping her expertise also was the USBC electing her to its first Board of Directors in 2004. She served four years for the organization that is charged with the responsibility of governing bowling in the United States.
Rilla Yeater received the Andy Palich Award in 2012.