William David Yarlott Sr. of Eastsound, Wash., passed away Thursday, June 4, 2015 in Kirkland. He was 87 years old.
Bill was born on July 23, 1927, in the little town of Yountville, California, the heart of Napa Valley, to George and Laura (Reed) Yarlott.
At the independent age of 15 and after lying about his age, he joined the railroad, becoming a ticket agent. During the war he joined the Merchant Marines in which he saw action throughout the Pacific. Upon his discharge, he returned to the railroad.
While living in Napa, Calif., he was married to Phyllis Grosh and together they had two daughters, Jackie and Debbie. Then in 1967, en route to Alaska to hunt moose, on a friend’s recommendation, William thought he would visit the San Juan Islands. He found work for the winter on Orcas, where he met Carolyn Johnson, his wife to be, and never left. They were married in 1969.
Bill’s first job on Orcas Island was as a gardener for the Kaiser Family. Four years later, he started a small gas engine shop in his home’s basement in Deer Harbor.
Several years later, he opened a storefront in Eastsound called Island Chainsaw.
Bill ran the shop and raised a family for the next 25 years. Bill eventually moved to Maui, spending the last five of his retirement years there.
Even before Bill retired he liked to volunteer whereever he could. Bill started a fishing tournament for kids on Cascade Lake, in the Moran State Park on Orcas Island. It was named the Bill Yarlott Open.
Bill served as a member of the Lions Club, a Boy Scout District Commissioner, and a lifetime member of the American Legion where he was Post Commander. Bill enjoyed being Santa Claus and had many stories to be shared. He was an avid outdoorsman always planning his next fishing trip.
Bill joined the American Red Cross, organizing blood drives on both Orcas Island and in Maui. He himself gave blood earning the coveted “10 gallon” pin.
Bill is preceded in death by his beloved wife Carolyn; brother George Yarlott; and sister Mary Sue Kostka. He leaves behind his children Jackie Yarlott (Mike Susac), Debbie (Len) West, W. David (Titou) Yarlott, Crystal Yarlott, and Ben Yarlott; grandson Brooks; nephew Larry (Liz) Yarlott and their children; and close family friends Allan and Ellen Izer and their children.
A graveside service is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 27 at Olga Doe Bay Cemetery on Orcas Island followed by a reception at the American Legion Post 93 Hall, 793 Crescent Beach Drive, Eastsound, Wash., 98245.
Memorials may be made to the American Legion Voyle B. Martin Post 93, 793 Crescent Beach Drive Eastsound, WA 98245 in honor of William D. Yarlott.
You are invited to share your condolences and memories in the online guestbook at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lynden.