John Andrew Yukish, 86, of Highlands Ranch, CO, passed away peacefully at home at 10:50PM on January 15th, 2023 following a brief illness, surrounded by his wife and children. John was born to Walter and Marie Yukish in 1936 in Republic, PA, graduated from Brownsville High School in 1954 and immediately entered the Navy at the age of 17, married Inza Lee Griffith in 1958, becoming as much a part of her family as his own, and was the proud parent of daughter Becky and son Mike.
His Naval career took John from patrols above the Arctic Circle helping chase Russian submarines in Iceland, to three years "on the ice" on the continent of Antarctica supporting Operation Deep Freeze. He was a witness to history while stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, loading his family on an hour's notice onto a Navy ship for points unknown while preparing for invasion during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1967 he joined the Chief's Mess following an indoctrination offered to only a select few, and was eternally proud of his Fouled Anchor. His rate was Aviation Storekeeper, and along with ensuring our warfighters were supplied when and where needed, he kept his children stocked with US Government pens throughout their schooling. He never served on a Navy ship while in the Navy.
Following retirement from the Navy at 37, he rejoined the brotherhood of military supply by joining the Grumman Aerospace Corporation, who quickly sent him out to sea on the USS America for a six month cruise. He spent the next 20 years working to keep our military hardware in the air, developing deep lifetime friendships along the way.
John's favorite things in life were golf, being with and helping family, long road trips, and more golf, preferably in person but OK on TV too. He won too many golf club tournaments and Sunday morning best ball sessions to count, and scored a hole in one in his 80s. He was a feared competitor in bowling, darts, and horseshoes. Fish appreciated taking his bait at minimal risk. He excelled at cussing out recalcitrant mechanical devices and later computers, all of which he whipped into shape. The Washington Redskins broke his heart too many times, but he loved them anyway. He loved the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and had many close friends there, not all golf-related. Cats and dogs instinctively knew they had a friend for life.
He loved our interstate highway system, and even more so the blue highways on the map, the more winding and perilous the better. Twelve hours behind the wheel crossing the country was an easy day. He taught his children to drive cars with stick shifts in their early teens on beaches, quiet neighborhood streets, and deserted highways when police were elsewhere.
He is predeceased by his parents, his sister 'Dolly', and brother Leroy; and he is survived by his wife, Inza, daughter Rebecca, son Michael (Elizabeth), grandchildren Michael, Karen (Jon), Gregory, Alexandra, and Christian, great-grandchildren Raymond, Reina, and Calvin, and many other friends and family who carry his memory forward so he can live on in our hearts.
In place of flowers, you may donate to a cancer-fighting charity in John’s name.