John A. Yackus, 84, of Davie, Florida, died 29 January 2009, at his home under Vitas hospice care.
Mr. Yackus spent 38 years with various rail roads including the Pennsylvania and Penn Central before leaving New York City and assuming his duties as the General Superintendent Southeast Division for AMTRAK in South Florida. A former rail road mechanic and labor organizer he rose steadily through the ranks culminating in various management positions with the Penn Central rail road and finally, AMTRAK.
John Alphonso Yackus was born in Brooklyn, New York and graduated from Bishop Laughlin High School. He enlisted in the Marine Corp in 1943, and was in training to join Colonel Evan Carlson’s Raider battalion, when it was stood down and he was subsequently assigned to the 4 th. Marine Division. As a member of third Battalion, 25th Marines he was part of the first invasion wave that landed on Roi- Namur Atoll, Saipan and Iwo Jima. He was wounded during all three campaigns and was awarded the Purple Heart with Gold Stars.
In retirement Mr. Yackus was active serving in various support functions for his parish Saint Bonaventure, of which he was a founding member. He enjoyed serving and cooking meals for various homeless tent cities located in Broward County. He volunteered his time and efforts at the Miami VA center to assist wounded veterans in obtaining their rightful health benefits. In addition he supported various organizations associated with his beloved US Marine Corps and was an honorary plank owner of the USS Iwo Jima LHD-7. In addition he was an accomplished musician playing both the alto saxophone and accordion. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, active in councils in New York and South Florida as a Knight of the Fourth Degree.
His beloved wife of 58 years, Mary V. Yackus, died in 2005. He is survived by his son and daughter in law, CDR John S. Yackus USN/ ret. and Barbara Yackus of Annapolis, and two grandchildren, Caitlin and John Jr.
A funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at Saint John Neumann Church, 620 N. Bestgate Road, Annapolis, MD at 12:00 P.M. on February 19, 2009 with burial following at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Arrangements by the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, Edgewater. MD.