John Robert Yeargan, 93
John Robert (Bob) Yeargan died Jan. 15, 2014, of natural causes in the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Pam Yeargan, in Eagle River surrounded by many family members.
He was 93.
He was born Aug. 8, 1920, in Dallas, Texas, to Clarence and Maybelle Yeargan. He was the elder of two sons.
He married his high school sweetheart, Alice Rose Dugan, in 1941 and had two sons when he was called up to serve in World War II.
Though he never went overseas, he did play an important role by designing the windshield wipers for the B-24 Liberator.
He began working for J.P. Awalt Company of Dallas, and then as a manager of Purse & Co. Wholesale Furniture in San Antonio.
His job gave him many opportunities to travel and learn about different woods and building of furniture.
Thus began his passion for carpentry and travel.
He spent many years devoting his time and talent to his love of the church, the choir, Knights of Columbus, as a Boy Scout leader and his wife and family.
“He was a devoted father who taught by example, hard work, patience and a gentle spirit, always willing to help,” his family wrote.
In 1979, Yeargan was appointed by Pope Paul VI to the Knights of St. Gregory for his service to the church.
After the death of Rose, he moved to Alaska in 2002 at the age of 82 to be with his other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lived in his own home for the next 10 years.
Yeargan continued to spend many hours in his shop creating, repairing and guiding grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the making of wooden toys, doll houses, desks, tables, book cases, garden carts and planter boxes, as well as making beautiful stands to hold the large church statues and book shelves.
“He loved spending time with the family chauffeuring, attending activities, trips to Hatcher Pass, picnics and bonfires at the campground, and as a volunteer for the Bear Paw Festival,” Yeargan’s family wrote. “His favorite time was sharing stories of his past with all, and soothing many a fussy infant with his harmonica.
“We’ve had some great times together and are so blessed to have had him in our lives! The number of great-grandchildren who stopped by in the last few days to wish him well on his new journey also speaks to his kind giving spirit.
“We will miss our loving grandpa, imprinting upon us his strong opinions about his faith, his family, and our responsibility to our community,” Yeargan’s family wrote.
“He was a master of record keeping of everything he ever did. We now have a treasure of dates and names and a history of his life.”
He was preceded in death by parents, Clarence and Maybelle Yeargan; wife, Rose; brother, Clarence; and great-granddaughter, Natalie Yeargan.
He is survived by his two sons, Joe (Judy) of Carrollton, Texas, and Jim (Pam) of Eagle River; granddaughters, Julie (Mitch) Lavey, Amy (Michael) Sanders, Angie (Don) Meahan, Megan (Matt) Baxter, Jamie (Johnny) Marmon; grandsons, Doug (Gale) Yeargan of Carrollton, Texas, Greg (Carol) Yeargan of Maypearl, Texas, Scott (Zulema) Yeargan of Chugiak, and Brian (Christie) Yeargan of Eagle River; and 28 great-grandchildren and dear friend Claire Petersen.
A memorial mass and reception was held at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Eagle River on Jan. 21.
Another memorial mass was held at the Chapel at Calvary Hill in Dallas on Jan. 25.
In lieu of flowers, Yeargan requested memorial donations be made to the St. Andrew Debt Reduction at 16300 Domain Lane, Eagle River Alaska, 99577.