Jon “Pete” S. Yeager, 79, of Pioneer passed away Wednesday morning at Community Health and Wellness Centers in Montpelier. He was born on September 19, 1940 in Lima, Ohio to John W. and Greta A (Snyder) Yeager. Pete graduated from North Central High School in 1958. He married Joan “Joanie” C. Polenschat January 13,1962 in Cleveland and she preceded him in death.
Pete served his country in the United States Coast Guard enlisting in 1959. He was stationed at both Coast Guard stations, Lorain and Fairport Harbor, Ohio. While he was known for his boat handling skills and responding to rescue calls, his most revered duty was that of lighthouse keeper. In the following years, his enthusiasm for the Coast Guard was unwavering. Through his encouragement, he was proud to have seven family members enlist, serve and make careers in the Coast Guard.
In January of 1962 he married Joanie and after his Coast Guard enlistment, became a real estate appraiser in both Ohio and Indiana. He returned to Pioneer to work for his father in the family grocery business. In 1973, Pete along with his brother-in-law David Votaw purchased the family business and operated it together for the next seven years.
Pete continued operating the store and using it as his platform for decades of loyal community service, and for helping many people get their start. In April of 2006 Pete retired as the owner of Yeager’s Market in Pioneer after 37 plus years. After retiring, Pete and Joanie moved full time to Vermillion on the Lake, where they could be back on the water and in view of the lighthouse that he once kept. He never slowed down and his community service continued by overseeing the historic Vermillion Club House and the many fish fry’s he became so fond of. He continued to make new friends and tried very hard to make things better wherever he was.
He loved the time living on Lake Erie, but in the end was determined to return to Pioneer, where he was surrounded by family and old friends-a place that was truly his home.
He was a member of the Pioneer American Legion Post 307 since 1985 and also served as the past president of the Pioneer Chamber of Commerce and the North Central School Board.
He is survived by his son John (Brenda) Yeager of Wrangell, Alaska; grandchildren Emily, Lauren, Michael, Connor and Brian; sisters Dorothy (Bruce) Ramsey of Greenville, South Carolina and Deb (Dave) Votaw of Pioneer; and brother Jim (Barbara) Yeager of Minden, Nevada and much loved nieces and nephews.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents, John and Greta Yeager, wife Joanie, and son James “Jim” Scott Yeager.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 4 pm at Lake View United Brethren Church in Camden, Michigan with Pastor Ben Gladhill to officiate. A private graveside service will be held at Floral Grove Cemetery in Pioneer with the Ninth Coast Guard District providing military honors with the assistance of the Pioneer Veterans.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Back to the Wild, P.O. Box 423, Castalia, OH 44824 or the Williams County Public Library- Pioneer branch, 106 E. Baubice Street, Pioneer, Ohio.
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