Cover photo for Richard Garland Yonk's Obituary
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1940 Richard 2024

Richard Garland Yonk

June 5, 1940 — May 27, 2024

Mendon

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Richard Garland Yonk, the comeback kid, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of May 27, 2024 at the age of 83, just missing his birthday for 84.  His heart that just refused to give up, finally did.

Richard was born June 5, 1940 and grew up in scenic Petersboro, UT.  He gained an appreciation and love for land and environment from his father, Merlin H. Yonk, and grandfather, Garland Yonk, working side-by-side with both on the family farm.

Richard met and fell in love with his sweetheart, Nancy Kohn Darley, in 1959.  They were married in the Logan Temple on July 1, 1960.  They loved and supported each other throughout their marriage and had many adventures.  They raised three children together: wendy (Dan) Ann Lewis; L. Jeanne (Michael) Pierce; Jonathan (Jennifer) Merlin Yonk.  Richard was a good father, friend, and advisor.  He encouraged his children to follow their passions and interests.

Richard's love for land and nature fueled his interest in science and in June of 1963, he earned a Bachelor's of Science degree at Utah State University.  He taught science at Logan High School for four years and received a National Science Foundation grant to pursue a Master's degree in biology at Emporia State University in Kansas.  He then moved his family to Fremont, CA, where he taught biology for the next 8 years at Irvington High School.  Richard loved the students and teaching biology, but Petersboro called him home.  He returned to work on the farm in 1977.

Richard loved the outdoors.  He was a birdwatcher, gardener, hunter, and hiked in every National Park he could get to.  He instilled this  love for the outdoors in his family and we had many wonderful vacations and outings and learned much about nature, animals, trees, birds, etc.  Other of his hobbies included; being a master at sudoku, scrabble, and crossword puzzles.  His woodworking skills were beyond compare, and there was never a project he was afraid to tackle.  His family has been blessed with the fruits of his incredible talent.  He was also an avid reader, enjoying especially mystery novels and history, as well as new discoveries in science.

Richard will be forever remembered by his wife, Nancy; his daughters Wendy and Jeanne; and his son, Jon; his sisters, Judith Maughan and Linda Batterman; and brother, Reed Yonk; his six grandchildren, Michael, Tristan, Selena, Katie, Henry, and Anders; and his three great-grandchildren Rhodrei, Aneira, and Cayden, as well as many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by sisters, Merlene Johnson and Rebecca Hadfield; and son-in-law, Michael Pierce.

Richard Garland Yonk was a man of integrity, humor, hard work, and adventure.  His legacy will continue to inspire and his memory will be forever etched in the hearts of all those who knew and loved him.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday June 4th at Allen-Hall Mortuary.  Visitation with friends and family begins at 10 am followed by a Celebration of Life in the mortuary chapel at 11 am.

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