Don Yost: ‘Known for his Kindness, Laughter, and the Baked Goods He Would Bring’

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Don YostDonald Lawrence Yost passed away after a brief battle with cancer on January 9, 2018.

Don was born on March 31, 1945 to Larry and Ann Yost in Eureka, California. He attended Marshall Elementary School, Eureka Junior High, and Eureka High School graduating in 1963.

Don enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1965. He was stationed in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and later, in Northeast Thailand during the Vietnam War. While in Thailand, Don was a civic action worker in the villages as part of an anti-guerrilla offensive. Civic Action was an effort to bring medical and sanitation services the North East Thailand, where Don lived without his uniform or any weapons.

After his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1969, Don returned home where he worked as an orderly at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and later owned C & V Liquors. He started driving school bus at Eureka City Schools and then later became transportation supervisor of Cutten Ridgewood Elementary School.

During his 23 years at Cutten-Ridgewood, Don was voted School Bus Driver of the Year for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.

At the wedding of his cousin Kathy McCarty (formerly Yost) in 1974, he met the love of his life, Maureen O’Connor. Four and a half years later, Don and Maureen would get married on April 22, 1978. Their family grew by two after the birth of their daughters, Megan, in 1985, and Brittany, in 1988.

Don retired from Cutten-Ridgewood Elementary School in 2007. He then became a “short term” substitute bus driver for Humboldt County Office of Education for eight years.

During his retirement, Don enjoyed camping with his wife, Maureen, and volunteering.

He found a calling to work with fellow patients of cancer through volunteering at the Evergreen Lodge and later, St. Joseph’s Chemo lab. He was known for his kindness, laughter, and the baked goods he would bring to patients and staff. He viewed his volunteering as paying it forward.

Don is preceded in death by his parents, Larry and Ann Yost; sister, Sue Yost and brother, Stu Thissell, close friend, Mike Crockett and numerous aunts and uncles.

Don is survived by his wife of 44 years, Maureen, daughters Megan and Brittany, fur grandson and little buddy, Duncan, cousins Kathy (Dennis) McCarty, Tom (Gloria) and Bob (Mia) Schinauer, Jackie (Russell) Owsley, brother-in-law, Johnny O’Connor, sister-in-law, Kathy O’Connor and many nieces, nephews, and second cousins, godchildren, Matt Lamoreaux, Tara Arnold, and Todd Arnold. He is also survived by close friends Wally and Sherry Mitchell, Skip and Jan Arnold, Willy and Carolyn Crnich, Judy Taylor, Jim Lamoreaux , Judy Freyslaben and Eloise Bowie.

The family would like to express their gratitude to physician and friend, Dr. Tom Rydz, Dr. Michael Harmon, Dr. Ellen Mahoney and the Palliative Care Unit, the Med Surg 2 Floor Nurses Unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and especially, Janette Garrison from Evergreen Lodge, and special friend, Mona Yeider.

There will be a celebration of life for Don on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 2pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Eureka. Refreshments and socializing to follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Evergreen Lodge and Hospice House of Humboldt.

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27 comments

  • Rest in peace and condolences to all the family

  • Always a smile and laughter, Don you will be missed. Condolences to Maureen and family..

  • Maureen I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Seems like we just saw the two of you in Costco. May the love of friends and family surround you at this sad time.

  • Don Yost was a man among men… he will be missed dearly… words cannot express our sorrow… Xoxox

  • Donald you were such a good friend for so many years it is hard to believe that you are now a true angel- you truly earned your wings- there will never be another ‘Uncle Don’ to my kids- Now when the 49er’s and Raiders are playing I will know you and Art are battling it out in heaven- Peace to you now my dear friend- we shall watch over Maureen and the girls for you. You are missed!!!

  • Kathy McCarty the first

    Maureen I send my thoughts and prayers from Zimbabwe to you. I feel so sad for you but know how much fun you and Don had for so long. A big hug and tears. The world has lost a smiling face and we are all better for knowing him! I remember in 1974 when we met Don and you said I am going to marry that guy someday! Love you!

  • Kathy McCarty the first

    Maureen and girls so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. The world is a better place for knowing and loving him and remembering his great laugh!
    How fun it was to have met Don together in 1974 and you said I am going to marry this guy someday and you did! We were finally related!
    Lots of love and prayers surround you from Zimbabwe!

  • My favorite bus driver. He would greet the kids with a smile and a warm demeanor, always making sure he got us to our destinations safely. I loved Mr. Yost and am actually devastated by this news, as he was a vital part of my childhood for years. My heart goes out to Megan, Brittany, and the rest of the family. What a tragic loss for the community. Such a wonderful, kind-hearted man.

  • Our prayers are with all of you as you say good byes to a wonderful man, he loved so many and will be greatly missed. As his time on earth is done he has just begun his journey with our Lord and Savior..

  • Chris and Dee Vallee

    Our prayers and thoughts go to you Maureen, Megan, and Brittney! Many fond memories of Don, he will be missed greatly!

  • While I only knew Don for about two years, I was very fond of him. I will
    miss him.

  • I first met Don in college, many years ago. He had an infectious sense of humor, an imagination like no other and always enjoyed sharing his wry observations of life with others. He was truly happy, an optimist and a fast friend to many.

    Over the years, we’d run into each other around town, always a positive experience. I’d walk away thinking “I’m sure glad I know this guy and that we’re friends”. He undoubtedly influenced many lives, especially when he worked with the kids and those battling cancer.

    Maureen, Megan, Brittney and other family members – your loss of Don must be impossible to understand. Remember the good times and the love of life that bubbled within him. My love and prayers are with you during this most difficult time.

    • Thank you Tim. Don always remembered you telling him after our girls were born to invest in Kimberley Clark.

      • I remember that! Glad he didn’t pass on everything I told him, else I’d probably be reading about it on this page! I really meant what I wrote earlier. One of a kind and all around good guy. You two were always great together and he’d always effervesce when he was speaking of you. I know you and the girls will miss him terribly.

        Please apologize to Brittany – autocorrect got me when I wrote the other evening, going back and misspelling her name after I typed it and I didn’t notice.

        Hold the good thoughts because they’ll help carry you when you really need it. Take care.

  • Heather McGuire (Faust)

    Thank you so much for getting me to school safely every day Mr. Yost! 26 and still remember your smiling face welcoming me on to the bus every day. The world needs more kind and loving people like you.

  • Don volunteered in the chemo clinic, and from day one he was a shining star among volunteers, in his element, and loved by all. His generosity, humor, care, and relatability was a true blessing to both the staff and patients in the clinic. He was a natural when it came to striking up conversation with all of the patients, and it was obvious that he loved volunteering and giving back to them. Don brought a smile and great willingness to serve, and of course he always came on shift with delicious baked goods for the clinic staff! He will be missed greatly by everyone he touched in the Cancer Program. Our lives are all much better for having known him, and I feel extremely honored to have had the pleasure of meeting and working with him. Don, you will be greatly missed! Thank you for everything.

  • My heart goes out to you Maureen and family. Don was such a loving, happy man who lived a full blessed life. I will miss his laughter and smiling face.

  • I was a little kid riding on that bus to Ridgewood. Fond memories of Mr. Yost. Thinking of his family and friends. He was a lovely man.

  • Renee, Eric, Molly and Michael Isaacson

    We are so sad to hear of “Mr. Yost’s” passing today. He was both of my kid’s bus driver from Day One at Cutten Ridgewood. He was so caring and kind to all the kids and we always knew they were in great hands with him. He was never to busy to say hi to his little passenger’s Mom’s and Dad’s. He was always up for a “first day on the bus” photo. He wore silly hats and participated in the silly outfit days, along with the kids. I’m sure he tired of “The Chipmunks”, but he always played them when requested, which was every day. He had a huge smile and great laugh and he put the kids in a great mood to start and end each day. There are so many great memories. My kids are out of school now but when we would run into him, it was just like we’d seen him yesterday. He wasn’t someone you could ever forget. We all will remember him fondly. Rest In Paradise old friend. You really were one of the good guys. ❤️ Many condolences to his loving family.

  • I remember only his face and his smile….and I remember reading this obit at his passing and sending love to all of his family, none of whom I know. What a wonderful human being who leaves ripples in the pond that reach beyond their own fortunate circle… to touch and inspire others. He is still making a difference by the love he leaves with all those who knew him.

  • Vicki Bozzoli Arneson

    Maureen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I met you, both, many years ago, thru Judy. He will truly be missed by all. I never saw Don, without a smile on his face!

    • So sorry to hear this news! Such a wonderful man! I loved his great smiles and conversation. Always there to lend a helping hand. Always so very positive. Thinking of Maureen and the girls! May he rest in peace!

  • Dear Maureen, Megan and Brittany,

    I am so sad and shocked to hear that Don has passed away. No one could ask for a better neighbor and friend. I will miss his smiles, laughter, stories he told with such enthusiasm and the ability to lighten a day! He truly was one of the very kindest people I’ve ever known.

    May God wrap you in his loving arms to sustain you Maureen, Megan and Brittany through this sad and difficult time.

  • To Maureen & family: We send our deepest heartfelt condolences from Sacramento. We will be keeping you in our thoughts & prayers. I prayed a Rosary for Don, & I will remember him in my daily prayers. May God give you comfort during this difficult time.

  • Ivan and Marty Marruffo

    Yost Family,

    Our sincerest condolences on the passing of a great man. He always had an infectious smile and a positive attitude whenever anyone came in contact with Don. One of my fondest memories of Don was taking him along on a Jeep run on the Lost Coast Usal Trail. Don was my co-pilot/navigator on my GPS, while we blazed the trail with a group of other Jeepers. Shortly after that, Don bought his own Jeep Cherokee to explore his own trails.

    Don, you will be missed but never forgotten…. Rest in peace, pain free…

    Ivan and Marty Marruffo

    • I met Don at the chemo center at St. Joe’s. He was compassionate, funny and such a charmer. When ordering lunch, i always chose the oatmeal cookie for dessert, sometimes for lunch. Don claimed he made the best oatmeal cookies and I said mine were yummy. We had promised each a bake-off, using the chemo nurses for judges. Don then went to the Lodge to volunteer so the competition never took place. I’m sure he would’ve won. He gave me so much comfort and encouragement. His sense of humor, I believe, is why I so looked forward to going to chemo. What a miracle worker.

  • I won’t forget the kindness that Don showed towards me when I was just
    starting my new career as a bus driver. I will greatly miss him.

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