Cover photo for David Conrad Yerkes's Obituary
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1936 David 2024

David Conrad Yerkes

December 27, 1936 — June 13, 2024

Overland Park

David Conrad Yerkes, 87, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully with family by his side on Thursday, June 13, 2024.

Born in Topeka, Kansas, on December 27, 1936, David was the second son of David Anderson Yerkes and Margaret Conrad Yerkes. He spent most of his formative years in Panama, where his father was the Chief Architect of the Canal Zone, and his mother was an administrator at Gorgas Hospital. His beloved grandmother, Mimi, helped raise David during World War II, and he often recounted his deep fondness for her incredible cooking and over-the-top spoiling. Living in such a lush, tropical environment, he and his older brother loved jungle explorations with machetes in hand, searching for pythons, monkeys, and tarantulas. This unique union of nurture and nature fueled his adventurous spirit and love of experiencing all that life has to offer. 

After high school, David set sail to America to attend his father’s alma mater, Kansas State University. There, he met the love of his life, Gloria McAvoy, and upon seeing her for the first time, declared that this was the woman he would marry. True to his word, right after graduation, they united in 1964 at Danforth Chapel in Manhattan, Kansas.

David landed a sales job with Armstrong World Industries, and mere days after their marriage, they set off for Birmingham, Alabama. With his personable spirit and bilingual capabilities, he relocated to New York City to service territories throughout Central and South America. After the birth of their second child, an opportunity presented itself with Armstrong in Madrid, Spain, where he was a Sales Manager for a division specializing in producing champagne corks. Five years and their third child later, his hard work led to a promotion in Melbourne, Australia, where he took on the role of Managing Director of Australasia operations for a joint venture called Armstrong Nylex. Our family enjoyed almost nine years there, providing a myriad of adventures throughout Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and beyond. Gratefully, he made us citizens of a much larger world.

Being an entrepreneur at heart and wanting to return to the United States, David spent the second half of his career owning and operating grocery stores in Kansas City with his brother-in-law, Bill McAvoy. Under the banners Apple Market and Thriftway, they operated a total of five stores for nearly 30 years. 

David's love for his wife, children, friends, and grandchildren was unparalleled. The latter affectionately called him “Papa,” and fantastic memories of holidays and visits to his home have become cemented in their lives. Above all, David cherished the people around him, sharing with them the things that brought him joy. Whether it be an amazing meal, a glass of wine, his garden, or art, all were welcome to experience it with him. An evening reception on his patio became a neighborhood staple for decades. Generosity was at the core of his heart, and his family is eternally grateful for the beautiful life he provided.

David is preceded in death by his wife, Gloria Jean Yerkes, his parents, and his brother, John William “Bill” Yerkes. He is survived by three children: Margaret Killeen (Ed), John Yerkes (Christine), and Patricia Beaman (Brian); and his eight “amazing” grandchildren: Benjamin Killeen, Sophia Killeen (fiance', Walker Tuttle), Emmett Killeen, Alex Yerkes, Ava Yerkes Layt (Lachlan), Logan Beaman, Quinn Beaman, and Savannah Beaman. 

Memorial services will be held at the Wesley Covenant Chapel on the campus of the Church of the Resurrection (13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS) on June 25th, 2024, at 1 p.m. A visitation with family will precede the service, beginning at 12 p.m. Afterward, David’s ashes will join those of his beloved wife during a private family ceremony at Johnson County Memorial Gardens. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored with donations to the Olathe Hospice House, whose tender care for David in his final days was beyond measure

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Conrad Yerkes, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

13720 Roe Ave, Wesley Hall, Leawood, KS 66224

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS 66224

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Private burial with family

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Johnson County Memorial Gardens

11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66210

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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