Sunday, January 19, 2014

Grandpa Yost (1923-2014)

Kenneth Charles Yost ( 1/28/1923 - 1/17/2014)

Grandpa Yost past away this morning, just days shy of his 91st Birthday.  What a sad, sad day.  I guess I am not exactly sure how to deal with it; so I am going to write.  What do you say about someone who has meant so much to me.  Maybe I can drown some of my sadness in a lot of happy memories.  I am sure he is having a Good Ole time up there.  I am sure he is happy to see Janae, his brother Willis, his Mom and Dad. He was such a good person...I just know they are having a party up there!

My kids were so sweet when they got the news.

Conner said, "Ooh Grandma is going to be all alone; wait a minute, she's not alone.  She has the farm, and the other Grandma, and the cows."

Justin said, "What!  What Grandpa!?  Awww! he didn't make it to his birthday.  That would have been so cool to be 91."

Kate said, "Oooh I thought it was Grandma.  I'm glad it wasn't Grandma.  That would be sad if it had been Grandma."

Taylor is on a school trip and we haven't been able to give him the news.  He said now we don't have any great Grandpa's. 

Cooper Kenneth just acted as if the world was as bright as ever this morning.  This week he started this funny thing where he scrunches his face, squeezed his little lips, points at me, and says "You craazy, mom!"  and then he laughs like he said the funniest thing ever.  I imagine that maybe his namesake is sending me some comfort.

I was asked to speak for 5 minutes on my memories from Grandpa. Jon was so good to help me get through organizing my talk. We all decided to drive out for the funeral. I was going to fly but his boss told him he could take all the time he needed. So we left Thursday and came back Monday. It was nice to have them their with me. 

I have thought a lot about this and rather than hear me rant on up here, Grandpa would have preferred a talent show…so I thought about singing or playing my clarinet, but Jon told me I shouldn’t because that would have truly made this a sad event. 
A couple of years ago, when I was pregnant with Cooper we made a trip home and as I sat with Grandpa and Grandma one night, Grandma in her chair, Grandpa in his, Laurence Welk playing in the background, a half-done puzzle in front of him, Grandpa said to me, “I just hope that your kids will remember me.”  I have thought a lot about that since then.  And so I wrote down a list of the things I will remember about him.
I will remember the many cabin trips we used to take. How exciting and fun Dominos was. He was the luckiest card player. I loved playing the coin game under the table and wondering how those big hands could hold a coin. He loved going through the park in Yellowstone. He would always look for the newborn calves and tell us about everything he saw. He introduced us to the Playmill.
I will always remember running over there with my loose teeth. He would stick his big thumb in my mouth and it would be out before I even knew it.   Then He would reach in his money bin and give me a huge handful of money.  I felt so rich and not just because the money.  We have carried this tradition with our kids and I swear that Justin purposely tries to knock his teeth out every time he thinks he needs some money.
I will remember the golf carts and how fancy his white one was.  He always knew when we would drive crazy and he would get after us for “Do-Dadding.”  He loved to drive up in the fields just so he could see how the corn was growing.  He was always checking up on the farm.
I will remember making homemade ice cream with him. I loved how he would take out the middle piece and eat it with a spoon. He would sit by the sink in his walker and eat when he thought no one was watching. I loved to help him put the snow or ice in with the rock salt.
I will remember the phone calls and his witty responses.  I always came away feeling so good. I would make the call intending to check up on him, but I always felt like I was the one getting checked up on.  He always had a way of turning the tables so that the conversation was never about him and always about you.  Every conversation started with a big smile and ended with I Love You.
Grandpa had the biggest smile.  He could have knocked a knocked a bird from a tree twenty feet away with just his smile.  I think his cheeks are permantely creased from smiling, so even when he was sleeping you can tell he was happy.
I will remember the many talent shows that were held at Grandma and Grandpa’s House.  Grandpa never performed at the talent shows.  He was always the audience and he was good at it.  He always made you feel like you played twinkle twinkle little star like Beethoven or sang silent night like Celine Dione.  Sometimes he didn’t even have to say anything; he would just smile big, move his fingers with the music as you played, and then give you a big hug at the end.  I secretly wondered if he turned down his hearing aids so that he wouldn’t be lying when he said that was the most beautiful song he ever heard.  Or maybe that’s why he didn’t say much after we performed and just gave us big hugs.
I will remember that he always made me feel loved. I will always remember how I felt like I was his favorite and how special and important he made me feel. I will never know how one person could contain so much love. I tried to explain how special he was to me to my 4 year old daughter. When I was done trying to explain, she said, "Heavenly Father must have spent extra time on him when he made him."
I will remember how much I always wanted to please him and could never face him if I did something to disappoint him.  I will remember the one summer my dad paid me hourly for the work on the farm.  In concert, my dad also decided to keep a running tally of things I broke and then he would deduct it out of my pay check.  I think it was the only summer I lost more money than I made (it was to prepare me for paying taxes in California).  I seemed to cause a lot of trouble and ran over multiple tubes among other things.  I guess Grandpa felt sorry for me; so he would spend hours in the shop lovingly bending the tubes back to their original shape so I wouldn’t get in trouble.  I don’t know if my dad ever found out, but I was so grateful and even now it reminds me of how much he loved me.
I loved driving corn truck just so I could be out on the farm with him. I can still picture him with his suspenders and white cowboy hat and that big smile. I loved his hand signals to help me move forward or go to the side.  He was a true farmer.  Even at 80 years of age, when his legs hurt to walk, my dad would take Grandpa out to the tractor and have him plow the fields.  My dad said it was because Grandpa did the best job of plowing straight lines.  This is the mental image I have of him. Toothpick in mouth, Plaid shirts and smile on his face, and whistling through his teeth as worked. I loved his white cowboy hat with sweat bands and suspenders and his thick plaid shirts. He looked and acted the part of a farmer.  He made farmers look good.  It’s no wonder that Grandma married him.
I will remember wanting him to hold each one of my kids as they were babies so somehow they could get to know him by just being with him. I will remember calling him after we had each one of our kids and he would tell me what number of grandkid they were. I was always so impressed with his memory.
I will remember his hands, his kisses on the cheeks, his arms around me, his loving goodbyes, how I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye to him. I love his big rough hands that always had enough strength in them to hold mine.
I loved coming home and after hugging everyone I had to run over to their house and stay late talking to both of them. It still is one of my favorite things to do.
I will remember that Grandpa always loved the Lord and loved the Church. He was never one to get up and bear his testimony too much and he never lectured us about church, but you always knew where his heart was by how he acted.   He went to church each week even when he had a hard time getting around, He served a mission with Grandma in Oakland, he always kept a copy of the Book of Mormon on the fireplace behind his favorite seat, and he always loved reading letters from his missionaries.  If Grandpa had been a Book of Mormon prophet, I think the Lord would have described him like this:  “Behold, it came to pass that
We always hated it when Grandma and Grandpa would leave to go to Arizona after Christmas to visit the Rays.  The house just felt so empty.  I guess from now on when we walk through the house and it feels a little empty we will just say, “Oh, Grandpa is in Arizona, but we will see him real soon. “ 

Ending point: I often wondered what it would be like when he is gone. The only words I could think of were empty, sad, and his chair would forever be empty. But as I have had a chance to think of him over the last week. I have come to realize that now is my chance to try and do what he did. To live faithfully even when it is hard. To stand up for family and stand by them in good and bad.  To smile as he did many times when he wasn't feeling 100%. To love always and to give of my life freely as he did. He lived the kind of life that Christ would want him to live. I was nervous he would pass away during my mission, but through the tender of mercy of the Lord he lived through all of our missions except for Nate.  He lived and for that I will be forever grateful to be able to call him my Grandpa and friend.

 The ancestors named after him. 8 are from my family along. 

Scott Kenneth Yost
Kent Charles Yost
Kobe Charles Yost
Tyler Kenneth Yost
Kimmie K. Yost
Merlin K Yost
Cooper Kenneth Yost
KC Ray
Charlie Yost

Charlie Yost
Kendal Charles Yost

Here are the memories that didn't make my talk.

His cheeks were permantely creased from smiling,. So even when he was sleeping the creases were t
His is very genuine and sincere. You knew he was excited to see you  and that he meant it. You can always count on him having a smile for you. You always knew that 90% of the conversation  was going to be about you and not him. He never liked to be the center of attention.

He is always a tease. He was always praising her cooking. He was picky about his bread was cut and he always made sure he cut it with straight because he didn't think Grandpa could cut it straight. 

I loved just talking to him. I couldn’t wait to come home from college to talk to him. He would have made a great talk show host. I would spent hours over there talking to him and Grandma. I remember being so worried that he was doing to do die during my mission. I felt like the Lord blessed us to have him around longer. This was one of the Lord’s tender mercies.

I walked in when he was drafting a letter to one of his grandkids. He had all of these rough drafts with words crossed out. He wanted to really help his grandkids. It was hard for him to write but he was going to do all he could to give of his advice and his love. There is so many of us but he seemed to think about all of us and our needs. He seemed to be able to reach out to each one of us. He had all of the pictures on the fridge of his grandkids.
Grandpa had a vivid memory. I loved to hear him talk about Janae. He would tell us stories of how she would run out to have her teeth pulled. Even till the end he could remember stories from pictures. I loved sitting and looking at pictures with him of his family.

I loved his big truck that he put carpet in and that it had all of these compartments for tools. I loved helping him load his truck to the go to the cabin. I loved mowing the grass at the cabin with him. It was always fun to work with him.

I will remember his workshop in the back of the shop. I remember his lessons on sanding with the grain and how to stain a bookshelf he made me. I remember the wood frames he made for my boys room and he woodburned their names with a question mark for Conner’s. He always was busy doing some project. He never liked to be idle. I had a project I made for Jon. I brought it to show him and he got out his drimmel and fixed the back of it. He even put a hook on it. He liked to make things perfect and do them the right way. He had a talent of making things with his hands. I loved to just be out there with him watching him work. I loved how the back shop was his and it had all of his tools in it.

I will remember talking about the Oakland Temple and every time I go now I think of them and how they served their mission there. I wish I could take him back there. I remember pulling out maps of places they went. The big atlases were in the office. I loved to study them with him.

I will remember how hard it was for him at the end and how he endured to the end despite his pain. I never felt like he complained about it he wasn’t afraid to let me know how he was really doing. I loved seeing how much the grandkids brought smiles to his face when they would come over. The grandkids came away feeling like they were his favorite. Of course I thought he loved mine more than anyone elses but I am sure we all felt that way.
I will always remember how much he looked out for me and my crazy driving. One time I was loading corn and went around the corner fast. I saw him later and he really gave me a lecture about slowing down and being careful. He did it in such a way that I knew I should listen. He was always watching out for me and guiding me to make better choices. It made me feel really special.

I will always remember when Grandma and Grandpa came up to my paramedic graduation with my parents. I received an award for struggling the most in class but finishing. They didn’t seem to notice they just seemed glad to be with me.

He once told he believed a three nephite helped  him change his tire. He was coming back from the cabin and he got a flat tire. A man pulled up behind him and had it changed in no time for him. Then he was gone before my Grandpa could thank him.

I remember being so glad to have both him and Grandma at our weding. He made it to Kim’s wedding even thought I thought he wouldn’t be able to do it. I knew he loved the gospel. He served a mission. He loved reading the missionary letters from his grandkids. If there was a scripture in the BOM about Grandpa. It would say, “And it came to pass, that he went.”   . He left a great example of serving his callings. He went even though it was hard and he was in pain. He went and served a mission and served in the family history center in Burley.

I remember watching the world series with him one year. I watched many games with him and cheered the players on. I loved watching it with him. I love the ball he got from going to an Oakland a’s game. I loved watching basketball games with him. We loved the Utah Jazz.

I will always remember one Sunday afternoon. Kim and I went with them to Park Valley and Yost. We loved it and it was fun to visit the cemetery. We tried to write the names down and keep them all straight. My favorite part was visiting family there. We met Roy Grandma’s brother and her other family. I just remember how much people loved them and were so thrilled when they came to visit. It was like taking a walk back to the time they grew up in. It was a special time we spent with them. It made me wish we had grown up with them. We walked through Grandmas old house and the old cellar where they kept all of their food.

In fact when Cooper was born later that year, we named him after Grandpa, Cooper Kenneth Snow.  I did a little research for this message and to the best of my knowledge there are 12 of his descendents who are named after him. 

This is an amazing legacy and he can be sure that we will remember him.  Here are some of the things that we will remember about him. Grandpa took time to make memories with us growing up. It took his patience and his time but he did it. He is a true patriariach. He is a true leader of our family. To have so many of us drop everything to be here today to honor him.

One time he had a talk in church and he had his manuals and scriptures in the tractor with him so he could read and prepare. I knew he had a testimony and I loved talking to him about the gospel.

It wasn’t a coincidence that my Dad took over the farm from him and that he was there watching us grow up. Accepting us for who we really were.  He even told on us once for making a fort on top of the haystack. We were so mad at him, but we knew he was only watching out for us.

I was having a hard time during college. I asked my Dad to give me a blessing. We did it over at Grandpa's house. I remember not wanting him to see how stressed out I was but I have never felt so much love in a blessing. I can still picture my Dad and Grandpa dressed in white shirts putting their hands on my head. I am grateful he could be part of my blessing.

I had a lesson in swathing hay. I did a terrible job and was left on my own to make straight lines. It was going pretty bad and I was praying to find a way to make it better. Then Grandpa showed up and he gave me a lesson. I knew I didn’t have enough money to pay for a swather if I broke something. He saved me that day. He took over and showed me what I was doing wrong. I really haven't swathed since but he was an answer to my prayer that day.


Michelle Y. said...

I love that so much. I am going to have to copy you. I love the pictures of Tyler and kate on the golf cart with him. I will miss him so much. He was definitely one of my favorite things about Idaho. I can't wait to see you guys!

Kimberli K Yost said...

He was loved by us all. I love your pictures, can't wait to see everyone.

Mindy Gulbranson said...

The Yost farm will never be the same. He will be missed by everyone. We were so blessed to have lived next door and that he was our grandpa.