Gordon Leroy Yocum, Jr., age 91 of Spring Lake, passed away on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at Mercy Hospital in Muskegon. He was born on July 3, 1930 in Loup County, NE to the late Gordon “Roy” and Anna “Dell” (Robyler) Yocum, Sr.
Gordon graduated from Loup County High School where he played football and ran track. In his senior year, he came in 2nd in the low hurtles at State. He attended the University of Nebraska Ag College in Lincoln, NE for two years where he lived in the apartment above the horse barn. His determination for his education was emphasized during the blizzard of 1949, when he needed to catch a ride back to Lincoln after Christmas break. He walked the 13 miles from the farm west of Taylor to meet his ride, carrying his suitcase, to return to the University.
Gordon was drafted in 1951 and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He served as an Honor Guard in Japan, guarding the headquarters of General Mark Clark, who was head of United Nations Command.
Following his discharge, he returned to Lincoln to attend Lincoln School of Commerce, earning a Senior Accounting Certificate. During this time, Gordon worked many odd jobs to earn money for school. One night, he was delivering groceries and the store didn’t have the Epsom Salt that was ordered, so he stopped at a local drug store. There he saw his future wife, Lola Lee Green working at the drug store. He said, “Are you still here?” (He remembered her from his past years at UNL.) She said, “I’ve been waiting for you.” They were married on November 20, 1954.
Their only child, Gayle June, was born on November 21, 1955. They built a house in northeast Lincoln where they lived from 1956 until they moved to Parchment, MI in 1971, when he became manager of the Control Data Plant in Kalamazoo, MI.
Gordon worked in the printing industry most of his life, starting at Nebraska Sales Book. He then worked for Control Data in Lincoln, NE and Kalamazoo, MI. They returned to Lincoln in 1976 and he worked as a salesman for Standard Printing Company in Omaha. He ended his career at age 83.
Gordon was active in the United Methodist Church serving as a Lay Speaker in Nebraska. His ministry involved many calls to Omaha and Lincoln hospitals. He was also a member of the United Methodist Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven, MI.
Ham Radio was a family affair. Gordon earned a General License KA0DWG, and was a member of the Lincoln Amateur Radio Club.
He and his wife Lola moved to Spring Lake Michigan in 2017 to be near to their daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. Lola preceded him in death on January 20, 2018.
Gordon is survived by his daughter, Gayle (Roger) Cox of Spring Lake, MI; grandson, Russell Allan Yocum Cox of Kingman, AZ; granddaughter, Anna Bell Yocum Cox of Spring Lake, MI; his two younger sisters, Donna (Lawrence) Dircksen and Ann (Mike) McEvoy; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Lola; and his two older sisters, Ava (Herb) Small and Trudy (Elton) Coleman.
The Celebration of Life for Gordon will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 22, 2021 First Evangelical Lutheran Church (305 W. 5th) North Platte, NE with Pastor Dennis Hanneman officiating. Interment with Full Military Honors will be at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the United Methodist Church of the Dunes or a Veteran’s Organization of your choice.
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United Methodist Church of the Dunes
717 Sheldon Road, Grand Haven MI 49417