Charles Marshall Yoke
1929 - 2021
Lauer Funeral Home
204 N Main St
Deer Park, WA
Charles Marshall Yoke, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and devoted friend, passed away peacefully at home in Spokane, Washington, surrounded by his family to enter his eternal home with his Savior on July 21, 2021.
Dad was born in Spokane on Jan. 25, 1929, where he, his father, Marshall, mother, Harriet, and sister, Mary Alice, lived. 
The family moved to Plaza, Washington, during Dad and Aunt Mary Alice's grammar school years, where his parents owned a small mercantile and gas station and his father was a rural mail carrier.
The family moved to Deer Park, Washington, in 1944, and purchased a small grocery store.  
Dad graduated from Deer Park High School in 1946 and attended and graduated from Washington State College in Pullman with a degree in Business and Marketing in 1950. 
He met Gwendolyn Joan Cook in Deer Park at a grange hall dance and the two were married June 27, 1951. They just celebrated 70 wonderful years.
Chuck joined the Air Force and served in England during the Korean War. His service ended in 1953, and he returned home to Deer Park to assist his parents in selling their struggling grocery store. During the process of learning the business and working with his parents, the programs he instituted began to show positive improvement. He went home one day to mom and asked her what she would think about trying to go into business with his parents to make a go of it with the store. She replied that if he felt that was something he would want to do, she would support him. Thus, began dad's life of work in the grocery business, at first with his parents in Deer Park, and then on his own after their deaths in 1971 and 1973. 
His success was built upon his diligence in learning every aspect of his craft, a tireless work ethic, and a highly competitive spirit. 
Dad and mom raised six children: Marcia (Brent) Harken, Tom (Lorenda) Yoke, Steve (deceased 2015), (Kay), Lori (Bob) House, Mitch (Cheryl) Yoke, and Kristin (Geoff) Markiton.
Dad very patiently taught and brought us up in the sports he and mom enjoyed. Although he was very busy with the growing company, dad found plenty of time to recreate with all of us. Many of the kids who grew up with us remember playing football and baseball with dad and us on our big grass yard in Deer Park. Dad was a real family man.  
Dad was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, golfing, hunting, fishing, and travel adventures with his family and friends.
He also enjoyed cooking and grilling, in addition to landscaping his properties. He took great pride in caring, tending, and beautifying the places we lived. 
We would be remiss if we didn't mention that Dad LOVED picking huckleberries at Priest Lake. He and mom enjoyed traveling with their family. He loved and supported his Cougs and fulfilled his promise to take us to the Rose Bowl…twice!
In 1990, when Yoke's had grown to eight stores, dad and mom sold the company to their employees through an Employee-Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), and they retired. Thirty-one years later the company is still 100% employee owned.  
Dad remained active in assisting the company on the Board of Directors. We would like to thank all past and present Yoke's employees for all their hard work and dedication on behalf of the company.
Our family is especially grateful for those who worked carefully with dad's medical needs: Joel, his physical therapist; Family Resource Home Care: Kyle, Bevin, Merry, Robert, Jeffery, Joshua, and Wesley; Hospice of Spokane: Medina, Dan and Rick, as well as our outstanding physicians in Spokane. 
In addition to our mom and us, Dad is survived by his 20 grandchildren: Travis (Cara) Harken; Khiree (Daniel) Appel; Anna (James) Esmond; Mary Ruth (Eric) Maus; Abigail (Josephus) Straka; Aubrey (Travis) Gralapp; Alexandrea (Cole) Liebrecht; Ashley (Levi) McBournie; Step-Grandson, Bryan Ralph; Stephanie (Mike) Steinman; Julia (Troy) Gilchrist; Melissa (Jon) Pemberton; Lisa Ashe; Damon Ashe; Lucas (Haylah) Ashe; Kristin Ashe; Ryan (Leah) Yoke; Rachel Yoke; Justin (Lauren) Yoke; and Van Markiton.
He is also survived by 42 great-grandchildren and five step great-grandchildren, as well as one great-great-granddaughter; his sister-in-law, Anita Olsen; his brother-in-law, Pius Schuler; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made as a tribute gift in memory of Charles Yoke at or as a general gift to Hospice of Spokane.
A private family graveside service was held at Woodland Cemetery in Deer Park on July 30. A Celebration of Life was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 127 E. 12th Avenue, Spokane on July 30.
For those unable to join us,, the service can be viewed at
To view and sign Chuck's online guestbook, please visit
Published by The Statesman Examiner from Aug. 3 to Aug. 4, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Celebration of Life
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
127 E. 12th Avenue, Spokane, WA
Funeral services provided by:
Lauer Funeral Home
Sponsored by Lauer Funeral Home.
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13 Entries
I remember when Mr. Yoke built the Yoke's Grocery in Kettle Falls, it was a super cute western style, though the interior was very modern for the times. I also remember Tom, his son. I was always happy that Mr. Yoke was so very successful with his grocery empire, and enjoyed shopping in various of his stores. I was sad to see new owners remodeled the Kettle Falls store, removing it's charm, but the store is thriving, a lasting tribute to an industrious man. My condolences to his family.
August 26, 2021
My parents, Walter & Jane Gaber were very good friends of Mr. Chuck Yoke. My very first job was at the Yoke's Bakery Department in Deer Park, WA. I will always remember the kindness Chuck showed to his "young" employees working at Yoke's. Thank you for the memories!
Janelle Gaber Dorsing
August 11, 2021
I called on Chuck, when employed by the Thomas J. Lipton, in the 70's. Chuck was one of my favorite customers, he was a real Gentleman.
Bob Faulkner
July 31, 2021
Knew Chuck and Gwen when they lived in the house on Main St., used to babysit the children. A wonderful family and neighbors. Always a gentleman with a find word.
Janelle Justice
July 30, 2021
Chuck always made me feel like family and always made time for me when I had business questions I was very blessed to have been and friend of the family
Don Williams
July 29, 2021
I´m so sorry to hear of Chucks passing; he was truly a great man. You all are in my thoughts and prayers!
Kerry DaVault
July 29, 2021
Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace.
Washington State
July 29, 2021
He was a wonderful owner and I loved working for him
Sandra Schierman
July 28, 2021
Our heart goes out to the loss of such a kind hearted, wonderful man! May God provide peace and love for the entire family!
Rick and Mary Jo Mertens (Mandt)
July 28, 2021
Rick and Mary Jo Mertens
July 28, 2021
Chuck and Gwen offered their cabin at Priest Lake to us when we were just out of college and I was teaching with Marcia at Kinman. We went their on our honeymoon night and spent a few days. It was such a kind and thoughful gesture and Marcia, whom I taught with at Kinman Business University in Spokane at the time (in 1979) helped us organize the event. The memories from that visit to their beautiful cabin has lasted through many years and we have now been married over 40 years! A great way to start a marriage for sure. Chuck was so well thought of and a very bright and kind businessman. His touching mark on our life will always be remembered. Marcia is a good example of how Gwen and Chuck raised a fine family. Our love goes out to his wonderful family. May God grant you all peace during this difficult time. Mary Jo and Rick
Rick and Mary Jo Mertens (Mandt)
July 28, 2021
Some of my best memories are fishing with Chuck in Alaska. He was a wonderful man to be around.
Frank W Vawter
July 28, 2021
My prayers of peace and comfort for all of you. Love and hugs.
Cathy Elliott (Kakuschke)
July 28, 2021
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