Charles Mark Yeokum

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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
under attack.

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.

Service

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.

8 Comments

  1. Robert L Yeokum on September 25, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    To Mark’s family and friends, I am so sorry for his passing, Mark and I were first cousins as his dad and my dad were brothers in a family of eleven siblings. I grew up in Michigan and Mark in Kansas and Missouri . Mark’s accomplishments and exploits are truly a credit to the Yeokum family. May God bless his family and friends.

  2. Eugene Young on August 23, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I am sorry to hear of Marks passing. In 1957 he was my Pledge Father in Triangle. As an architecture major he was of great help in my start in that profession. Upon his leaving the Air Force he joined a prominent Kansas City firm. Some time later I heard that he had left that and was Flying for TWA. I called Mark and asked what had happened. His answer was he enjoyed the work but, the regular 9 to 5 hours were not for him.
    The Air Force had spoiled him with the irregular hours that flying brought. We lost contact until I saw him in uniform walking through the St Louis airport in 1979. If you knew Mark you couldn’t mistake the Mark Mosey. I stoped him, we talked and he turned out to be my TWA pilot home. My wife and I got free drinks on the flight.
    My regret is not reconnecting with Mark. What a great guy.
    My best wishes go to his family.
    Gene Young

  3. Anita Cyrier, director Johnson County Chorus on August 18, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Members from the Johnson County Chorus at JCCC send our deepest sympathy to Marks family. He was a member of the chorus for many years serving as a talented lead tenor. Mark was one of those people who always went the extra mile to make a difference in the quality of anything he did.

  4. Michael J. Larkin on August 18, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Mark and I flew together many years at TWA Kansas City on the 727. He was always a fun guy to fly with and an excellent pilot, he was truly “One In A Million”. (my poetic tribute to all fighter pilots).

  5. jim bagby on August 17, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Mark was a man of many talents and many faces. I knew him for his tenor in the highly entertaining “Homeward Bound” quartet. He will be missed.

  6. Derrell Sweem on August 16, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    I have notified Mark’s fraternity brothers of his era about his passing and they have responded to the news with grief, love and affection. He was warm friend to all of us. His modesty about his perilous military service was remarkable, I never heard him mention it. He had a terrific memory, including the middle names of those of us who initiated him into Triangle, many years afterward. Our love and best wishes go out to his family.

  7. Brad Anderson on August 13, 2020 at 6:39 am

    So very sorry for your loss. May God’s peace comfort you.

  8. charles c jarrett on August 12, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Dan & Family,
    Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss.

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