CORTLAND - Rich Yocum, 70, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012.
He was born Nov. 26, 1941, in Warren, the son of Paul J. Yocum and Mildred Jacobs Yocum.
His father survives him at 99, along with his wife, Virginia Hayes Yocum, whom he married on Dec 3, 1966, in Warren, and had three children, Tisa Marie Butcher of Warren, Sandra (Francis) Musser of Cortland and Rich A. (Amanda) Yocum of Champion; three grandsons, Michael Butcher, Noah and Hayes Yocum of Champion; a great-granddaughter, Emily Butcher; two brothers, Donald (Loretta) Yocum of Southington and Paul David (Jackie) Yocum of Champion; and a sister, Patty (Terry) Baker of Champion
Richard went to school at McKinley Elementary on Larchmont Street in Warren, which was torn down in 2010. In sixth grade, he moved to Champion on Clearview, where he graduated from Champion High School.
During his high school years, he worked landscaping and for Warren Automotive driving a delivery truck all around the tri-county area to local garages delivering parts, etc. He was also active in sports in school, playing basketball and other sports as well.
Upon graduation, he went to Colorado to attend Alamosa College for approximately one year and then went into the armed forces; he ended up in military police training and was sent to Turkey. He worked with a German shepherd while in the service and was so kind and loving to animals. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., when President Kennedy was shot.
When he was honorably discharged, he moved back home to work at Packard Electric, eventually becoming an inspection foreman. That is where he met his loving wife of 46 years, Virginia Hayes. He retired from Packard at age 55 and continued helping his family and friends with many projects. When Rich and Amanda were married and produced little "Hayes," babysitting became his first love in life. He and Hayes have had a very special bond, proven by the fact that upon graduation from kindergarten and asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, Hayes replied, "I want to be my dad's dad." It made everyone tear up and was a wonderful tribute to a man who so loved his son and grandson.
In 2010, he suffered heart failure due to a heart virus in March, but beat all odds in overcoming the effects of that difficult time. However, he lost the eight month battle with the small cell lung cancer. He attended United Brethren Church in Warren as a child and Presbyterian Church in Champion when he moved to that town, with the Rev. Charles McCrae, the father of a classmate of his, being the preacher.
Richard always loved his tomato plants and flowers, taking care of the lawn and watching the world go by from his patio. He enjoyed the birds and animals that roamed through the yard as well. He loved his special companion, the white rescue kitty, Mr. Pudd. He was a man's man and loved to golf and have fun, with travel being his first interest. An avid card player, Richard took his cards very seriously whether for money or fun. He knew what was going on in every game and he especially loved playing pinochle with Mary and Lyle Hayes, who taught him the game. He was honest to the core, giving and helpful to all who are in need and generous sometimes to a fault. He was a lover of breakfast, often fixing the works for grandkids or whomever was there at the time.
A proud father and grandfather, he was the first to tell of their accomplishments and the first to reprimand when they were wrong, or to argue a point. A strong conservative Republican, he believed in working for what you have and sharing when you can. He loved to watch TV and was always watchful of his parents, including taking them on the many vacations to Williamsburg, Mt. Vernon, Colorado, Wyoming, Yellowstone and Florida, and for short rides into Pennsylvania back to McKeesport, where mother lived, or back to Donegal.
He always enjoyed Tisa and Sandy and gave to them in every way all he could muster to give. He is much appreciated and loved by all who know him. Not a social butterfly type, his family and close friends and a trip to AAA to dream of his next vacation have always been enough for him.
He was so grateful to the Rev. Carl Kish of St. Roberts Church in Cortland for the many home visits and the prayers of all folks, and for his Christian faith and upbringing.
Calling hours will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Carl W. Hall Funeral Home, where a funeral service will immediately follow at 6:30 p.m., with the Rev. Carl Kish officiating. Military honors will follow.
Memorial donations may be sent to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105; the Cleveland Eye Bank, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-1716; or a charity of your choice.