Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Charles Marshall Yoke

January 24, 1929 – July 21, 2021


August 5, 2021

Charles Marshall Yoke, loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and devoted friend passed away peacefully at home in Spokane surrounded by his family to enter his eternal home with his Savior on July 21, 2021.

Dad was born in Spokane, Washington, on January 25, 1929, where he, his father, Marshall, mother, Harriet, and Sister, Mary Alice, lived. The family moved to Plaza, Washington, during Dad and Aunt Mary Alice's grammar school years, where his parents owned a small mercantile and gas station and his father was a rural mail carrier. The family moved to Deer Park, Washington, in 1944, and purchased a small grocery store.

Dad graduated from Deer Park High School in 1946 and attended and graduated from Washington State College in Pullman with a degree in Business and Marketing in 1950. He met Gwendolyn Joan Cook in Deer Park at a grange hall dance and the two were married June 27, 1951. They just celebrated 70 wonderful years. Chuck joined the Air Force and served in England during the Korean War. His service ended in 1953, and he returned home to Deer Park to assist his parents in selling their struggling grocery store. During the process of learning the business and working with his parents, the programs he instituted began to show positive improvement. He went home one day to Mom and asked her what she would think about trying to go into business with his parents to make a go of it with the store. She replied that if he felt that was something he would want to do, she would support him. Thus, began Dad's life of work in the grocery business, at first with his parents in Deer Park, WA, and then on his own after their deaths in 1971 and 1973. His success was built upon his diligence in learning every aspect of his craft, a tireless work ethic, and a highly competitive spirit.

Dad and Mom raised six children: Marcia (Brent) Harken, Tom (Lorenda) Yoke, Steve (deceased 2015), (Kay), Lori (Bob) House, Mitch (Cheryl) Yoke, and Kristin (Geoff) Markiton. Dad very patiently taught and brought us up in the sports he and mom enjoyed. Although he was very busy with the growing company, Dad found plenty of time to recreate with all of us. Many of the kids who grew up with us remember playing football and baseball with Dad and us on our big grass yard in Deer Park. Dad was a real family man.

Dad was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed water skiing, snow skiing, golfing, hunting, fishing, and travel adventures with his family and friends. He also enjoyed cooking and grilling, in addition to landscaping his properties. He took great pride in caring, tending, and beautifying the places we lived. We would be remiss if we didn't mention that Dad LOVED picking huckleberries at Priest Lake. He and Mom enjoyed traveling with their family. He loved and supported his Cougs and fulfilled his promise to take us to the Rose Bowl...twice!

In 1990, when Yoke's had grown to eight stores, Dad and Mom sold the company to their employees through an Employee-Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), and they retired. Thirty-one years later the company is still 100% employee owned. He remained active in assisting the company on the Board of Directors. We would like to thank all past and present Yoke's employees for all their hard work and dedication on behalf of the company.

Our family is especially grateful for those who worked carefully with Dad's medical needs: Joel, his physical therapist; Family Resource Home Care: Kyle, Bevin, Merry, Robert,

Jeffery, Joshua, and Wesley; Hospice of Spokane: Medina, Dan and Rick, as well as our outstanding physicians in Spokane.

In addition to our Mom and us, Dad is survived by his 20 grandchildren: Travis (Cara) Harken; Khiree (Daniel) Appel; Anna (James) Esmond; Mary Ruth (Eric) Maus; Abigail (Josephus) Straka; Aubrey (Travis) Gralapp; Alexandrea (Cole) Liebrecht; Ashley (Levi) McBournie; Step-grandson, Bryan Ralph; Stephanie (Mike) Steinman; Julia (Troy) Gilchrist; Melissa (Jon) Pemberton; Lisa Ashe; Damon Ashe; Lucas (Haylah) Ashe; Kristin Ashe; Ryan (Leah) Yoke; Rachel Yoke; Justin (Lauren) Yoke; and Van Markiton. He is also survived by 42 great-grandchildren and five step great-grandchildren, as well as one great-great-granddaughter; his sister-in-law, Anita Olsen, his brother-in-law, Pius Schuler, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made as a tribute gift in memory of Charles Yoke at Parkinsons.org or as a general gift to Hospice of Spokane.

A private family graveside service was held at Woodland Cemetery in Deer Park on Friday, July 30. A Celebration of Life was also held on July 30 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington. For those unable to join us in person, the service can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHCPtYqZ2sA To view and sign Chuck's online guestbook, please visit http://www.lauerfuneral.com.


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