Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Deacon Michael David Yakir

Deacon Michael David Yakir, age 72, of Lexington, Ohio died Monday, October 31, 2022 at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center under the care of Hospice of Central Ohio. His death follows a well fought battle of chronic Leukemia since 2018 from exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Mike was born September 23, 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late George J. and Delores M. (Lindbergh) Yakir. He was a 1968 graduate of Byzantine Catholic High School in Parma, Ohio and enlisted with the United States Air Force serving from 1968-1972 in the Vietnam War. Following his service to our country, Mike’s education continued at Bluffton College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and additionally at Findlay University where he earned a master’s degree in business administration. Throughout his life, Mike worked as an electronic technician and IBEW construction electrician for a combined total of fifteen years, was a Maintenance Supervisor for Mazda and Ford for five years, and for twenty-one years was an executive for a construction firm.

Deacon Michael D. Yakir was ordained a permanent deacon for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo on November 17, 1984. He was currently serving as deacon for Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Shelby, Ohio. He was proud to serve for seven years as a deacon at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC, and, at that same time, he was Chancellor for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, Washington DC. Throughout his years of ministry, he had also been assigned to St. Pius X, Toledo, Regina Coeli, Toledo, St. Charles Borremeo, Lima, Resurrection Parish, Lexington, St. Joseph, Plymouth, and also served at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, St. John the Baptist, Dunnellon, FL, and throughout his travels across 46 states and DC with his wife, Susan, would serve various parishes they visited.

Mike was an active member for eighteen years with Rotary International serving as the President of the Rotary Club of Lima, Assistant District Governor for District 6600, and was a six-time Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of Legatus for ten years being the charter President of the Columbus chapter and was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an avid member of the Pro-Life movement serving on the board of the Foundation for Life in Toledo, Past-President of Heartbeat of Lima, and for over 20 years, taught natural family planning with his wife, Susan. An adrenaline enthusiast, Mike was both a commercial pilot and also a Certified Flight Instructor- Instrument (CFII), loved all shooting sports- especially trap shooting, and had been a motorcyclist for over 50 years.

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Susan M. (Sulewski) Yakir, whom he wed on November 4, 1978; children: Micheline Ann (Josh) Ricker, Christine Marie (Brian) Galuzny, and Patrick John (Kelsey) Yakir; grandchildren: Josie, Lilah, Harper, Brendan, Micah, Evangeline, Jozef, Milo, Andrzej, Mireya, Auria, Natalee, Kaylee and Christopher; sister: Janice L. (Joe) Saez; and a host of other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Nichole Marie Yakir.

Family and friends are welcome on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 29 West Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875 where Deacon Mike will lie in state from 3-7 pm. A Rite of Reception will be held prior to the calling hours at 3 pm and a Vigil for the Deceased will conclude the visitation at 7 pm. Both services will be held at the church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 7, 2022 at 10 am at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. The Most Reverend Richard B. Higgins, retired Bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Service, USA will preside and preach at the funeral Mass assisted by the Very Rev. Christopher Mileski, VF, Pastor of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, and priests and fellow deacons of both the Diocese of Toledo and the Archdiocese of the Military Services, USA. Burial will follow in Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman, Ohio at 2:30 pm. For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to assist with Mike’s grandson, Micah’s, recent diagnosis and battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), in care of the Mighty Micah Benefit Fund at Park National Bank, PO Box 3500, Newark, Ohio 43058.

Care for Deacon Mike and his family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875. Messages of sympathy may be left on Deacon Mike’s obituary on the funeral home’s website,, or Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Fr. Joshua M. Janko says:

    My deepest condolences for Deacon Mike! Susan and he have been my friends for many years. Thank you Deacon Mike for accompanying me and supporting me especially in my military chaplain years which continue. I will always have the most fondest of memories from our encounters and fellowship. I will remember you in my prayers and Masses. Please also pray for me. God bless you Deacon Mike and your beloved family. Fr. Joshua

  2. Richard Fallat says:

    Deepest sympathy Susan and family on your loss. I will always treasure the last phone conversation I had with Mike mid October. We spoke for over 40 mins.

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    God Bless You,

    Richard Fallat
    Byzantine Class of 1968

  3. Deacon Norbert Wethington says:

    Wonderful memories of a steak dinner we shared at the campground of Mount Gilead State Park in the days of yore. Deacon Mike was a great story-teller. May his memories bring only the very best of blessings ! Deacon Norb of Fremont.

  4. Fr. Jim Auth says:

    God bless and welcome home my friend Mike, a gift to all who knew him! Prayers for the family as we remember him with love! Fr. Jimj Auth, Toledo

  5. Dcn. Stan Przybylek says:

    I was a baby Deacon when you were at Regina Coeli and left to go to Lima. Your in our prayers. God’s peace!✝️

  6. Deb Clay says:

    Deepest sympathies to the Yakir family. I met Mike at St Charles in Lima and he was not only a great leader but a person that you couldn’t help but like. Our paths got to cross again on a professional level when he worked at Tuttle construction. That is really when I got to know him on a personal level and we had some great conversations about life, family and the future. He will be missed so much by so many people.
    Praying for the family.
    Deb Clay

  7. dale kosak says:

    My condolences to the family. He seems to have had a very productive life and it is a great loss to the community.

  8. Terry & Erika Gaberdiel says:

    Dear Susan & Family: We were shock to hear of the passing of Deacon Mike, we have very fond memories of his ministry while we were parishioners as St Charles, Lima, and remembering our visit at Key West, FL, July 2013. Sending Our Thoughts and Prayers of Sympathy and Condolences to You and Your Family. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May this soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. Terry & Erika Gaberdiel, Massweiler, Germany

  9. Fr. John Shimotsu says:

    Dear Susan and family, I had the pleasure of getting to know Deacon Mike when he served as the Chancellor to the Archdiocese for the Military Services and I was a Navy chaplain. I am grateful for his kindness and support. May the angels lead him into paradise and may the Holy Spirit comfort you. God’s blessings, Fr. John Shimotsu.

  10. Deacon Jim Dudley says:

    Deacon Mike will be greatly missed. I enjoyed serving with him at Regina Coeli.
    Prayers for you Susan and your family in this time of grief.

  11. Jim and Vicki Sorgenfrei says:

    Sue and family please know Mike, you and all your family have been in our prayers. And we will continue to pray for your family. Mike was truly a gift and we were blessed to know him. Our deepest sympathy.

  12. Lyle Groff says:

    Sorry to hear about Mikes passing and my condolences go out the the Yakir family. Mike was always kind to me and he got me into riding motorcycles. I will always remember that. While I was deployed his wife got me into correspondence with her elementary kids. So I was able to write my stories with her class from Iraq. Rest in peace Michael. PRO PATRIA VIGILIANS

  13. Fr. Aidan Logan says:

    Dear Susan and Family,
    My deepest condolences! Mike was a dear friend and a great colleague at the Military Archdiocese. In fact, I could not have done my job as Vocation Director or navigate our administration without him. He was a true man of the Church, both learned and holy. May he rest in peace!

  14. Lisa and Jason Eddy says:

    Dear Susan and family, we are so saddened for your family. Our deepest condolences for your loss. I pray to the Lord that He grant you peace and comfort. We will be continuing in prayer for your family. By God’s grace and mercy He will sustain you through the blood of Christ which was freely given once for all.

  15. Deacon Hal Welch says:

    My sincere condolences to Susan and the children and extended family on Michael’s passing into eternal life. Mike and I went through diaconal training together from 1977-1980 but both of us had to wait for ordination due to our young age. Mike was always the consummate gentleman but with always a great sense of humor. Mike was intelligent and well-read, and I admired his breathe of service, both militarily and as a deacon. He truly embodied the diakonia of service throughout his life. My continued prayers for Mike and Susan and may God continue to bless and guide your family.

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