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