David E. Yaeger, 87, passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Seaside (Monterey), CA. The Parkinson’s Disease he had managed for so many years had progressed rapidly and developed multiple complications over the past several months. For the multitude of loved ones he left behind, it is some small solace to know that he is now at rest in a much better place.
He was a wonderful, caring man, with a heart of gold. He would readily give of his time and resources to help family and friends. He worked hard every day, without complaint, and was a shining example of selfless dedication to a job that needed to be done. He had a witty sense of humor and never failed to have an appropriate quote of wisdom for each situation.
He was born in Berkeley and lived his entire life in California, mainly the Oakland/Vallejo and Chico/Marysville areas. He loved to tell stories of his childhood in the Bay Area during The Depression. As a young boy, he would walk across the (old) Carquinez Bridge to visit his father who lived in Vallejo – and by coincidence, the same city became his home for the last 40 years of his life.
At the age of 18 he became a Merchant Mariner, carrying supplies to U.S. Navy ships off the coast of Japan during WWII. Decades later, he was extremely proud to receive the honor of being recognized as a war veteran. He was a pipe and machinery Insulator at Hunter’s Point Shipyard, San Francisco, and transferred to Mare Island Naval Shipyard in 1974 where he was in Shop 64 until his 1981 retirement.
He had a wide range of knowledge and interests, owing to the fact that he read extensively and had traveled all over the world. He especially loved the many trips to visit relatives in Texas, Washington, Nevada, Eastern Canada and all over California. When he wasn’t traveling, Dave could most often be found maintaining and enjoying his beautiful back yard, where countless social gatherings have been held. He was a member of the Elks Lodge, Sister City Association, Friendship Force, Good Sam, Pleasure-Way RV, and Blue Rock Springs Golf Clubs, and was a founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of North Bay.
David is survived by his wife of 44 years, Elaine (nee: Flannigan), of Vallejo; sons, John (Marla), of Ottawa, Canada and Rick, of Reno, NV; daughter, Pamela (Rogers) Williams, of Monterey; brother, Rodney (Hilda), of Vallejo; eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren living in Texas, Canada, and Nevada; and six nieces and five nephews and their families from Fairfield, Suisun, Chico, Marysville, Nevada, Idaho and NY. He was also dearly loved by his three step-children, Cheryl Swanson, Vallejo, Laurel (Jack) Ward, Santa Maria, CA, and Randy Swanson, OK; with three additional grandchildren and two great-grandchildren who have life-long memories of him as their “Papa”. All but the two youngest have been fortunate to have lived in the same home or city with Dave for 20 to 30 years, and greatly cherish the time, access, and celebrations they’ve had with this remarkable man. Others who will feel this loss deeply include Dave’s brothers-in-law, Nathan McFarland and Gary Flannigan, many additional relations through marriage, and the friends he and his wife shared for decades. Dave will truly be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him well.
David was preceded in death by his sister, Hertha (Nathan) McFarland, of Chico; brother, Paul Houston, of Vallejo, and son, David L. Yaeger, of Texas. He will be buried at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito (Berkeley), next to his older brother, George A. Yaeger, Jr., who died in 1927 at age six.
A remembrance ceremony was held on March 23rd at the New Hope Fellowship Church in Chico, CA, with many in attendance.