Charles Mark Yeokum
Charles Mark Yeokum passed away at his home on August 5, 2020. Mark was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend who will be missed by all. He was a remarkably talented man who poured himself into his life’s passions and loved his family deeply.
Mark was born on October 3, 1936 in McCune, Kansas to Charles Floyd Yeokum and Ruth Estelle Shriver Yeokum. Both of his parents were educators. The CF Yeokum Junior High School in Belton, Missouri was named after his father.
Mark attended both Garnett High School and Lawrence High School before attending the University of Kansas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He was active in the Triangle Fraternity both in college, and after graduation as an advisor. While in college, he met Barbara Jean Bailey. Mark and Barbara were married until 1992.
Since he was in love with the idea of airplanes and flying, he enrolled in the Air Force ROTC during college. He then applied for pilot training and earned his wings as an Air Force pilot in 1960. After completing advanced flying school, he was assigned as a fighter pilot to the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron based in Okinawa. He flew his F-105 on 44 combat missions earning many commendations including The Distinguished Flying Cross for exceptional leadership, courage, and professional skill while
He left the military in 1965 and returned to Kansas with his wife Barbara, and his two children Daniel Mark and Sarah Lynn. He spent 30 years as a commercial pilot for Trans World Airlines (TWA) where he enjoyed traveling the world continuing to pursue his passion for flying. His active participation in the River Rats Association provided a life-long connection to other fighter pilots with common experiences.
His personal interests were varied and extensive including fishing, hunting, boating, singing, calligraphy, chess, bicycling, church softball, photography, watching his Jayhawks, trivia, and telling jokes. He was a Scoutmaster for his son’s troop, a softball coach for his daughter’s team, and cheered for his kids in their activities, despite the travel schedule of a pilot. He was a tenor in the Asbury United Methodist Church Choir for over 50 years. After retirement, he sang with the Johnson County Chorus and “Homeward Bound” (a barbershop quartet).
In 2013, Mark married Jo Anne Bliss who brought him great joy in the years they shared together.
Mark is survived by his wife Jo Anne Yeokum, his son Daniel Mark Yeokum, his daughter Sarah Lynn Kelly, his sister Lana Ruth Slack, and his grandchildren Megan Lynn Brantley and Jared John Kelly.
There will be a celebration of life service on June 7th, 2021 at 8:30am at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas followed by a military ceremony at 11:00am at Leavenworth National Cemetery.