Jack Yonge passed peacefully into the waiting arms of his Lord and Savior on the morning of June 28, 2022. Jack loved his friends, family and his faith. He will be remembered for his cheerfulness, kind words, warm nature, and listening ear to others.
Jack was born on January 9, 1930, to Jack Rienzi Yonge and Lois Shackelford Yonge in Abilene, Texas. Growing up in Abilene, Jack’s childhood was filled with many happy memories, such as being part of the Walnut Street gang, their pet pony Prince, family vacations to Colorado and time spent at the family’s lake house at Fort Phantom with the many water sports. Jack adored his parents and was faithfully sustained that he would see them again in the Heavenly Kingdom. He grew up attending the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, serving as an acolyte under Reverend Willis Gerhart, from whom he learned much about God and building a Christian foundation. Jack also excelled in speech and debate and participated in numerous competitions across the country, with his family in tow. A highlight moment was when he won the Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest in San Antonio and got to ride in their annual parade during the Fiesta event.
Jack graduated from Abilene High School and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan ll honors program. He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity where he made life-long friends.
As a young man, Jack moved to Victoria, Texas, and was active in the Episcopal church in that community. Swimming was a favorite pastime for Jack, and he often said that his Aunt Bee taught him to swim. His love for the coastal lands led him to move to South Padre Island where he took daily swims in the ocean. After a few years, Jack settled in Brownsville, Texas, and was active in investments and real estate. He also found time to spend at the pool swimming laps whenever he could.
Jack was surrounded by countless friends in Brownsville who he came to love and with whom he shared his faith, especially close friends, Hector, Jesse, Estella and neighbors, Daniel and Jeannette. He was known as the quintessential Texas gentleman who made the time for his friends, often ending conversations with gratitude and a blessing upon their friendship. He was a talented, expressive vocalist, who was known to sing both reverent prayerful hymns as well as artfully playful renditions of great American tunes, such as “Fly Me to the Moon” and other favorite Frank Sinatra songs. His church family at the Church of the Advent-Episcopal meant a great deal to him and helped to further his faith and Bible knowledge. For the last few years, he would call his sister Patricia every day and end the call with a prayer and a song.
Jack is preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Lois Yonge, his brother George Yonge, and his nephews, Barron Yonge and Kelly Yonge. He is survived by his sister Patricia Fooshee, his nieces, Lois Brabec (Zbysek), Beth Eubank (Mark), and Sallie Newman (John), and nephews, Wes Yonge (Roxanne) and Christy Yonge (Christine).
The family would like to express their deep gratitude to Bertha (Birdie) Munivez for her loving care of Jack in his last years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts may be made to the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander Street, Abilene, Texas 79602, or Church of the Advent – Episcopal, 104 W. Elizabeth Street, Brownsville, Texas, 78250.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday, July 20, at 9:30 a.m. in Abilene at Elmwood Memorial Park cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. In celebration of Jack’s life, a memorial service will be held in the fall in Brownsville.
Memories may be shared and condolences submitted online at www.HamilFamilyFuneralHome.com
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.