John Stephen Yeast, of Sciota, Illinois, died peacefully in the early morning on June 27, 2018, at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, after a short battle with cancer. He was born on October 12, 1942, the only child of Robert L. and Mary (Campbell) Yeast. Steve graduated Macomb High School in 1960, graduated from Western Illinois University with his bachelor's degree in 1968, and earned a Master's degree in Speech Communication from the University of South Florida. He was a graduate of the US Naval Training Center (1966) and served in the Navy in Iceland as a radio DJ & broadcaster. In 1973, he was awarded the Young Speech Teacher of the Year award from the Florida Speech Communication Association while teaching at Vero Beach High School. He was a member of the Illinois Elks Association for 53 years, served as the Board President of the United Way of McDonough County in 1984, and was the President of the St. Paul Home and School Association from 1995-96. He excelled in many professions, including teaching speech and communication classes to high school, university and community college students; directing the Western Illinois Tourism Council and the inaugural Western Illinois Balloon Fest in 1987; working in book publishing; directing his DJ/Karaoke company; managing Yeast Printing, the family printing company founded by his father; and working as a radio DJ and broadcaster. He performed in many plays, including the lead in Fiddler on the Roof in Vero Beach, Florida; and managed several bands and played in the Castaways. He was a member of the Illinois Elks Association, having served as Exalted Ruler in 1981-82 and 2012-14 and Trustee in 2014-16. Steve loved to cook, and carefully crafted his menus, recipes, and meals for family and at Elks events. He took great pride in attending, participating and recording his children’s sports, music, 4-H, and other diverse activities. His humor and generosity of time & spirit will be greatly missed by his family.
Steve married Judy (Genenbacher) Yeast on August 22, 1981. She survives, along with three children: Melissa (Leandro) Telles of Sciota, Illinois; Michael (Elizabeth) Yeast of Chandler, Arizona; and Ashley (Mitch) Tanney of Denver, Colorado; and three grandchildren: Micah and Kaisa Tanney of Denver, Colorado; and Elias Yeast of Chandler, Arizona. Also surviving are an aunt, Barbara (Campbell) Rosenberger of Pasadena, California; and cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Robert L. and Mary (Campbell) Yeast; grandparents Elmer and Laura (Wilson) Campbell; grandparents Ernest and Ruth (Archer) Yeast; and aunts and uncles.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 am Saturday, June 30, 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church in Macomb with Gene Miller officiating. Visitation will be held from 9-10:30 am at the church. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Macomb.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to Illinois Elks Children Care Corporation, St. Louis, St. Paul School or Macomb Elks Veterans Service.
Clugston-Tibbits Funeral Home in Macomb, is in charge of arrangements.
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