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Memorials: Durango Friends Meeting

Bill Yett

Date of birth

Aug. 20, 1937

Date of death

June 24, 2021


Durango Friends Meeting

Memorial minute

Bill Yett, 83, died in Delta, Colorado on June 24,  2021. Bill was born on August 20, 1937 in Pueblo, Colorado, the son of Elmer and Dorothy Yett.

He graduated from West High School in Denver in 1955 and spent the next three years in the U.S. Army with the Army Security Agency. After the Army, Bill attended the University of Denver and earned a B.A. degree in International Relations in 1962, followed by a M.S. in International Politics and Economics in1965.

After completing his education, Bill became an economist for the U.S. Bureau of International Commerce. In 1971, he moved back to Denver where he apprenticed as a carpenter and began putting together historic restoration projects.

In 1994, he began a new career with the U.S. Park Service working on numerous restoration projects in parks including the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan and the Petrified National Forest in Arizona. He retired from the Park Service in 2008 as Chief of Maintenance for Devil's Tower National Monument.

After 23 years of being together, he and Pat Jablonsky celebrated their union by marrying in 2006 and upon retiring in 2008 they moved to Delta. Their first project was to remodel their new home after which he worked on numerous woodworking projects.

Bill had many interests and passions, mostly oriented toward outdoor activities. In 1954, he joined the Colorado Grotto, an organization dedicated to the study, conservation, exploration and knowledge of caves. He served as its Chairman for two terms. He was also a longtime member of the National Speleological Society. He was founder of the Colorado Cave Survey dedicated to the exploration and mapping of Colorado's longest cave, Groaning Cave, located in the White River National Forest which extends some 15 miles.

Bill became a member of Mountain View Meeting in 1970. He lived his life according to Quaker values and principles often volunteering for numerous projects and programs including becoming a probation counselor for the Denver County Courts, lobbying efforts against the death penalty, and helping to start Montrose Friends Meeting. He helped construct the wheelchair accessible ramp for Mountain View Meeting. Whenever he and Pat traveled they would seek out local Friends Meetings.

Bill is survived by his wife, Pat; his sons David and Paul (Rusty); his stepdaughter Bethany; grandsons, Christopher and Oliver, granddaughter Samantha, and great granddaughter Blake.

Please also see Mountain View Meeting's Memorial Minute for Bill here.