Kenneth E. Yeager

Published 10:03 am Monday, November 27, 2023

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On November 21, 2023, Ken Yeager passed away peacefully leaving behind 83 joyous years. He was comforted until the end by his loving wife Priscilla of 60 years and their three children, Timothy, Peter, and Sarah.

Kenneth Ernest Yeager was born to Kathryn and Ernest Yeager and raised in Hammond, Indiana. He received several awards both academically and athletically. He earned 11 varsity letters in high school for basketball, track, and cross-country. He was awarded academic and athletic scholarships to Western Michigan University where he and Priscilla met.

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After graduating with an engineering degree in 1963, he went to work as a design engineer in the reactor engineering department at Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago. A few years later, the computer world caught his eye. He transitioned to a job with Kimberly Clarkin Neenah, Wisconsin where he worked as a computer programmer and later systems analyst. He subsequently held several management roles, finally as plant manager at their envelope plant in Dayton, Ohio. During this time, Ken led several negotiations with union members and strove to find fair compromise. Following a stint in operations with Reynolds + Reynolds, Ken pursued an entrepreneurial dream and bought an independent bookstore, the Reader’s Choice. He owned, operated and expanded the store, which was a beacon for readers around southwestern Ohio, for 17 years.

Ken loved playing and watching sports and because of his Indiana roots, had a particular passion for basketball. As coach of his childrens’ sports team, Ken put a priority on development of the kids over winning. A logical mind helped Ken in all pursuits, including becoming a life master in bridge. Over the years, Priscilla encouraged a love for travel and together they explored many parts of the US. But it was foreign travel that they most enjoyed. A safari in Africa, river cruises in Europe, and journeys to Japan, Costa Rica, Portugal, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, and other far flung destinations were highlights.

Ken and Priscilla settled in Columbus, North Carolina during retirement. Throughout his time in Columbus, Ken was an active volunteer serving on the board of the Lanier Library, as a trustee of the Polk County Public Library, Chair of the Boards of Deacons and Trustees at the Congregational Church, delivered Meals on Wheels for over 10 years and was recognized by the Second Wind Hall of Fame.

Ken is survived by his wife of 60 years, Priscilla, children Timothy, Peter (Jacqueline), and Sarah (Richard) Prouty, along with 7 grandchildren, two sisters in law (Elizabeth Boone, Nancy Gildersleeve), a niece (Susan Gildersleeve) and nephew (David Gildersleeve). Ken’s grandson Sam Yeager preceded him in death.

Ken will be remembered for his keen wit, intelligence, thirst for learning, hard work ethic, loyalty to friends, generosity, and love of family by the countless people he encountered throughout his life.

A Memorial Service will be held at the Tryon Congregational Church on December 30, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Foothills Humane Society or to a charity of your choice.

An online guest register is available at


McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory

Tryon, North Carolina