NORMAN — Weldon H. “Don” Yost, an Army Air Corps B-24 Bomber pilot during World War II, died Thursday from complications of flu and pneumonia. He was 91.
Mr. Yost is survived by his wife of 67 years, Trudy Yost; children Bill and Barbara Yost; and daughter-in-law Lindy.
He was the proud grandfather of Devon Yost, Lauren Pumphrey, Chelsea Chadwick and Jordan Yost. Don and Trudy also have six great-grandchildren.
The Yosts are natives of Toledo, Ohio, and met during high school. They reconnected and began dating just before America’s entry into World War II. Mr. Yost completed pilot training and was commissioned as a captain. He served in the Pacific theater as a pilot on the B-24 “Liberator,” flying missions against Japanese-held islands.
After the war, he returned to Toledo and married Trudy in 1946. Son Bill was born in 1947; Barbara was born in 1950.
Mr. Yost enrolled at the University of Toledo, where his college career had been interrupted by his call to serve his country, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. While working for Toledo Scale Company, he was transferred to Davenport, Iowa. Mr. Yost then found a home with General Electric, a job that took the family first to Clinton, Iowa, and then to suburban Rochester, New York.
After two decades with General Electric, Mr. Yost retired, and he and his wife moved to Norman in 1986 to be near his son and his family. Barbara Yost lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
In Norman, Mr. Yost served with Oklahoma’s Silver Haired Legislature. He volunteered at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History and Norman Regional Hospital. He was an ardent Sooners booster and a member of First Presbyterian Church in Norman.
In June, he and his son were guests of the Oklahoma Honor Flight program, which flies veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C. for a tour of the nation’s capital, including a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and the National World War II Memorial.
On his 91st birthday, Mr. Yost received a personal note of congratulations from former astronaut and senator John Glenn, also a pilot, born just a few months after Mr. Yost, also in Ohio. Mr. Yost was known for his kind heart, selflessness and generosity. Services are pending.