Robert Lawrence Yancey passed away on Tuesday, March16, 2010 at Alton Memorial Hospital with his family present. He was born in Alton, Illinois on March 3, 1925 to Walter Scott and Mabel (Dougherty) Yancey. His parents died when he was very young. He was raised by Charlie and Alpha Yancey in Alton and Brighton.
He married the love of his life, Earlene Waggoner, on June 25, 1949 in Brighton, Illinois. She preceded him in death in 1987. The couple lived for a short time in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Mr. Yancey was stationed with the U.S. Navy. Shortly thereafter, they moved back to Alton. They also lived in Fosterburg and Springfield Illinois. They moved to Godfrey in 1966, where Mr. Yancey lived until his death.
Mr. Yancey was a graduate of Brighton High School and Shurtleff College, with a degree in Business Administration.
Unable to enlist in the U.S. military during World War II due to deafness in one ear, Mr. Yancey served as a battlefield medic with the 19th Indian Division of the British Fourteenth Army through the auspices of the American Field Service. He participated in engagements in India and Burma in 1943-1945. He was wounded at the Battle of Kohima in June, 1944. Upon his return from WW II, he worked at the Warner Funeral home and the Illinois Glass Company until he was drafted into the Navy. He passed the hearing test and served as a corpsman at Great Lakes and Corpus Christi.
After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy, Mr. Yancey returned to Alton, married and earned his college degree. He was employed by the Sinclair Oil Company, Piasa Motor Fuels and the Southern Illinois University Dental School. He retired in 1993.
Mr. Yancey is survived by a brother, Bill, of St. Louis, a son, Charles and his wife, Vicki, of Fosterburg, a daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Doug, of Godfrey and a son, Jonathan, of Godfrey. He is also survived by four grandchildren he loved deeply and of whom he was extremely proud, Robert L. Yancey of Alton, Joseph Yancey of Fosterburg, Stephanie Leavell of Godfrey and Clayton Leavell of Godfrey. In addition to his wife, Earlene, he was preceded in death by his parents. His brother Joe and a sister Dorothy died during childhood. His sisters Maude and Louise also preceded him in death.
Mr. Yancey was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Brighton. He was a Freemason for almost sixty years. Mr. Yancey enjoyed volunteering at the Alton Memorial Hospital. He was a devoted family man who liked to travel with his wife and children. He loved dogs. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his thoughtfulness and his generosity. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2010 at the Gent Funeral Home in Alton. A Masonic Ceremony will be held at 7:00 p.m.
A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Brighton at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, 2010, followed by burial at the Brighton Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Brighton.