Lieutenant-Colonel Earl Eugene Yanecek, 91, passed away peacefully in his Cedar Rapids, Iowa home on August 7, 2019.
Earl was born on June 16, 1928 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Verma and Milo Yanecek. He attended Iowa State College and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Civil Engineering while being active in the ROTC program. After graduation, Earl enlisted in the United States Air Force and immediately attended officer candidate school in San Antonio, Texas. During his 27 year career, Earl was stationed in many bases throughout the United States and overseas. He was a decorated fighter pilot during the Vietnam War earning numerous medals and decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star. Earl flew the F-104A Starfighter in the first ultrasonic fighter squadron in the world. He was particularly proud of being a member of the River Rats; having flown many missions in his F-4 Phantom over the Red River Valley in North Vietnam.
Earl was married to Lucille Durr at Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, FL on February 14, 1952. They raised two sons and, after retiring from the Air Force, returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he worked at Coe College in the Physical Plant/Maintenance Department for 30 years. After retiring, Earl and Lucille enjoyed travelling throughout the United States visiting military friends as well as their children & grandchildren in California and Michigan; later in Deer Park, WA and Coralville, Iowa. They especially enjoyed their visits to Las Vegas.
Earl is survived by his sons, Robert Earl Yanecek (Ann), James Eugene Yanecek (Luann) and his two grandchildren Marie Bogh (Alex) and Daniel Yanecek. He is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Lucille.
Arrangements are being provided by Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Private services will be held for the family.
Donations can be made to Meth-Wick Community or Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy. Condolences can be directed to: 3960 245th St. Ext. NE, Solon, Iowa 52333.