John Yearsley, 78, of Urbana, Illinois passed away on February 19, 2023 at North Florida Veterans Health System, Gainesville, Florida. He was born in Urbana, Illinois on February 7, 1945 the son of Emmett & Jean (Phillips)Yearsley. He married Cheryl Woolls DeLap on July 11, 2014.Surviving are his wife- Cheryl; daughters- Jennifer (Doug) Bennett of Columbus, Ohio, Nikki (Brian) Mercer of Mahomet; grandchildren- Ava, Braxton, Charlotte and Jake;sisters- Mary (Bob) Lakey of Urbana and Dr. Martha (John Schmitt) Yearsley of Jasper, IN ;stepchildren- Karsten (Maggie) DeLap of Brevard, NC, Kristen (Todd Nadenichek) DeLap of Chicago, IL, step grandchildren- Soren & Isaac; Niece Jessie (Nate) Tate, Tolono, Nephews, Emmett Yearsley, Urbana and Jason Lakey Urbana. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother- Howard Yearsley and a step granddaughter Margo DeLap. John graduated from Urbana High School in 1963. His farming career was cut short when he was drafted into the Army in 1968. After serving in Vietnam in Charlie Company, Americal Division. John was honorably discharged with two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star, coming home to continue his lifelong farming career and resume as a DeKalb seed dealer. In between his planting and harvesting times, his love of dirt was carried over to racing late model stock cars and pulling tractors at county fairs and ag shows. He was a long-time member of the Prairie Gold Rush and his extensive collection of Minneapolis Moline tractors is widely known. After his racing career was over, he continued to attend several dirt racing events a year as a spectator and rarely missed the Daytona 500 race. He was also a long time board member of Yearsley Cemetery. Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 2023 at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, 2200 Philo Road, Urbana, Illinois 61802. Visitation will be from 11-1:00 p.m. at the church. Pastor Paul Chapman will be officiating the service and Patricia Justice the graveside service at Yearsley Cemetery. Military Rites are accorded by American Legion Post 5520. Memorial contributions may be made to The Fisher House, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, PO Box 5005, Bay Pines, FL 33744 or The Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club, 11 Gallimore Rd, Brevard, NC 28712 Attention Margo DeLap Memorial Fund. Condolences may be sent at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com
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