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, www.PenwellTurner.com, or Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral.