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May 11, 2013
Joseph Andrew Yanuska, 67, of Vacaville, CA, beloved husband and best friend of Joann (Garcia) Yanuska for 40 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on May 11, 2013 of Esophageal Cancer.
He was predeceased by his brother, Thomas Yanuska, Jr. and by his parents, Thomas and Ritsue Yanuska.
Joseph was born in Hawaii and moved frequently while his father served in the U.S. Army. He lived in Alaska, and Washington and finally settled in Monterey, Calif. with his family. Joseph attended Monterey High school. He enjoyed playing baseball for the Lobos. He graduated in 1963. After high school, Joseph went to Monterey Peninsula Junior College. While in college, he began working at Sambo's Restaurant as a short order cook. This launched Joseph into a lifetime career of serving others in the restaurant business. He started at Fairfield Sambo's, The Coffee Tree, The Nut Tree (where he met his wife), The Black Oak Restaurant and Lyon's where he retired. While "retired," he volunteered at several Senior Centers in Vacaville. He brought his love of penny poker, food, and fun to many of the residents. He played Dracula on Halloween distributing candy and Santa at Christmas handing out hugs and taking pictures with the families of the residents and their children and grandchildren. He was a member of St. Mary's Church the Knights of Columbus and was a tenor in the church choir. He was loved by everyone whether you just met him, or you knew him for years.
In August of 2010, Joseph was diagnosed with Stage IVb Esophageal Cancer. Despite many obstacles, Joseph fought hard with family by his side. His journey was full of Faith, Determination, Strength, Courage and Love. His wish to spread the word about early screening and prevention will be carried out through his children. The message that, "Heartburn can cause cancer!" is a powerful weapon used to help others defeat the Beast. Joseph fought with a smile on his face and love in his heart.
Besides his wife Joann, he is survived by his two sons, Tim Yanuska of Santa Clara, Joseph and his wife Alexis Yanuska of Benicia; his daughter, Jayme Yanuska, son in law Andrew Boughner; his grandchildren, Josiah and Ameryn Yanuska-Boughner; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of VacaValley Hospital, NorthBay Cancer Center and Oasis of Hope Hospital. Their dedication and effort to provide quality care over the last few months were a heartwarming blessing to the entire family. We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time we got to spend with him.
McCune Garden Chapel is caring for the arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to: Esophageal Cancer Action Network, P.O. Box 243, Stevenson, Maryland 21153 or can be made via internet at
Published in The Reporter on May 15, 2013
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"Joe was a great person! We used to go to high school together with his brother Tom driving the good old..."
- Gary Nakamura
"So sorry to hear of Joe's passing. My sympathy to all of his family. We attended Monterey High together,..."
- Stephen Crockwell
"So very sad to learn of Joe's passing. He was a very nice, decent Human Being. We will miss him."
- Marilyn Schneider
"I went to high school with Joe. He was the most respectful, well mannered, sweet guy. Never an issue..."
- Tony Holder
"My condolences to the family from a fellow MUHS graduate of '63"
- Terry Jones
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