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October 1, 1927 -
June 30, 2019

Bob Yale was born October 1, 1927 to Arthur and Lois Bond Yale. He passed away June 30, 2019 in Burlington at age 91.

Bob grew up in Seattle; he graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1945 and completed his BS in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington in 1952. Between high school and college he served in the United States Coast Guard, primarily in Alaska as a LORAN operator.

He married VayRene Snyder in 1949 and their daughter, Elaine, was born in 1952. The family moved to Mount Vernon that year as he began his engineering career with Skagit County PUD. He retired from the PUD in 1980, but later returned as a project inspector, bringing his time with the District to over 30 years.

Bob was active in the American Water Works Association (AWWA), serving a term as Chair of the Pacific Northwest Section and for several years as its Secretary Treasurer. In 1975 he received the Powell-Lindsay award for service to the section. After his initial retirement Bob taught drafting and water/wastewater management at Skagit Valley College, worked as driver-and-assistant for piano tuner Loren Pelkey, and proctored Washington State examinations.

Bob was active in Kiwanis, with many years of perfect attendance. He was a Past-President of the Mount Vernon Noon Club and an early salmon barbeque cook. He donated at least 20 gallons of blood through the years. Bob quietly mentored numerous young people in Seattle and Mount Vernon, providing encouragement, guidance, and friendship. Several have noted that he was like a second Dad to them.

Music played a major role in Bob's life. He sang in a number of choirs: Boy's Double Octet at John Marshall Junior High School, Skagit Valley College Community Choir, and in church choirs well into his 80's. He sang countless solos in church and in performances of such works as Handel's Messiah and the Faure Requiem, and was privileged to have the role of King Melchior in two Skagit Valley College productions of Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors. In his last years he remarked that he wished he had kept track of how many weddings and funerals he had sung for! Bob built 2 harpsichords and assisted in the building of two others, leading to 2- and 3- harpsichord concerto performances in Mount Vernon in the late 1960's. The pipe organ was his favorite instrument. While he did not play himself he was an expert in many facets of the instrument, attending countless concerts and American Guild of Organists conventions with VayRene and Elaine. He helped maintain the organs at First Baptist and First United Methodist churches for many years and was part of the crew that installed the pipe organ at St. Paul's Episcopal.

Bob married Lois Aylesworth Bergman in 1987 and they moved to Samish Island in 1997. He originally purchased the property on Samish in the 1940's with his father and uncle. To finally be able to live there full time was a dream fulfilled. He was happiest when there, like living a 365 day-a-year vacation.

Bob was proud of his time in the Coast Guard, saying many times that he was proud to have served in an organization devoted to saving people's lives.

He reveled in his heritage as the great-great-grandson of the first governor of the State of Illinois, Col. Shadrach Bond. He also took pride in the accomplishments of his family and friends, always offering them support and advice in equal proportions.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents Art and Lois and his first wife VayRene.

He is survived by his wife Lois; daughter Elaine (Tim) Weltz of Kenmore, son Brian (Jenny) Bergman of Astoria, OR, and daughter Wendy (Don) Everts of Manchester, MO. His grandchildren are Simon, Teya and Victor Everts and Owen and Eleanor Bergman. He is also survived by his cousin Dorothy Anderson of Federal Way and the rest of his "McVicar cousins".

Memorials are suggested to First United Methodist Church Endowment or Music Fund and Hospice of the Northwest.

A memorial service for Robert Yale is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM, Saturday, July 27, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 1607 E. Division St., Mount Vernon.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald on July 21, 2019
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