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Rev. Don Roger Yungclas

June 19, 1926 April 15, 2019
Rev. Don Roger Yungclas
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Obituary for Rev. Don Roger Yungclas

The Rev. Don Yungclas, 92, of the United Church of Christ and of Grinnell died on April 15, 2019, at the Mayflower Community Health Care Center in Grinnell.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be designated to the Mayflower Community Human Needs Fund.

Don was born on June 19, 1926, in Webster City, the son of William and Ethel Wilson Yungclas. He was raised on a farm near Webster City and was a 1943 graduate of Webster City High School. He went on to receive a BA degree at Grinnell College and later attended Chicago Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1955.

On August 9, 1949, he was united in marriage to Pat Packard, in Sioux City. A union of 69 years! They met on a “blind date” while both were students at Grinnell College.

While a student at Grinnell College, Don served as a student minister at the Chester Congregational Church. Years later, when the Chester sanctuary was moved into town to become part of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Pat and Don helped push the building onto its basement on State Street.

After Chester, Don served as Associate Pastor and Pastor in churches in Washington State, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. During this time they had five children, and Pat was a stay-at-home mom, taking care of the children during their frequent moves.

The Yungclases then moved to Wichita where Don spent 12 ½ years as Associate Conference Minister for the Kansas/Oklahoma conference (the equivalent to that of bishop in other denominations). In 1979, Don tried another form of ministry: he was called to start a new church at Port Orange, Florida, a diverse and welcoming community. By the time they left five years later, the church was self-sustaining; it survives today.

In 1985, Don was elected to be the Interim Iowa Conference Minister in Des Moines and working with many people who later became Mayflower residents. Over the next 11 years, Don served as Interim Conference Minister in eight different conferences, including Iowa, South Dakota, Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, the southwest Ohio association, Washington-North Idaho association, and was assistant to the conference minister of Hawaii after the 1992 Hurricane Iniki on Kauai.

When Don’s Conference Ministry service ended in 1994, he served as an interim at his home church in Webster City. They moved to Grinnell in 1995 and have traveled throughout the US and abroad. In 2007, responding to a crisis, they moved to Wichita to be closer to family. During their eight years there, they spent much time with family and enjoyed getting to know their great-grandchildren. They returned to Grinnell in the fall of 2015 and have resided at the Mayflower Community, Watertower Square.

He is survived by his wife, Pat of Grinnell; five children, Wendy (Russ) Lee of Wichita, Kate (Phil) Nelson of Norman, Betzi Yungclas of Beaumont, Texas, David (Cynthia) Yungclas of Wichita, and Nancy (Bob) Gilbert of Wichita; one sister, Virginia Wold of Gold Canyon, Arizona; one brother, Bill (Barbara) Yungclas of Ames; three sisters-in-law, Patty Yungclas of Webster City, Sarah Yungclas of Denver, Colorado, and Shirley Yungclas of Webster City; one brother-in-law, Roger Forrester of Murphys, California; 10 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Reed, Bruce, Kreg and Tom; and one sister, Gretchen Forrester.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Rev. Don Roger Yungclas, please visit our Tribute Store.

Memorial Contribution

Mayflower Human Needs Fund

Grinnell, IA 50112

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