Surrounded by a lifetime of family, friends, and happiness, Donald Ray Yandell went to be with his heavenly father on May 25, 2016.
He was born to Richard and Alpha Yandell on September 24, 1939. Richard was a school teacher for 44 years and Alpha was a loving and supporting wife and mother.
“D. Ray” as he was affectionately known, followed in his father’s footsteps and upon graduating from Southern Illinois University, he became a teacher at Vienna Grade School in 1961 where he taught for 21 years and then continued his career there as an administrator for the remaining 13 years until his 1st retirement in 1995. He continued his career briefly as Superintendent of Buncombe Grade School for 5 years before fully retiring in June of 2000. D. Ray loved teaching, coaching, and being with people.
D. Ray Yandell and Charlene Ellet were united in marriage on June 14, 1962 at the Methodist Church of Grand Tower Illinois. They made their home in Tunnel Hill and were blessed with 54 years of marriage and 2 daughters.
D. Ray is survived by his wife, Charlene, still at home in Tunnel Hill, two daughters and their husbands, Charlotte and Mike Leal of Tunnel Hill, and Donna and Mike Mott of Simpson, 3 beloved grandchildren, Austin Ray Leal of Tunnel Hill, Nicholas Allen Mott and his wife Amy of Tunnel Hill, and Alysha Mott of Simpson. D. Ray also has a great granddaughter to be born to Nicholas and Amy Mott in July. He also leaves behind his beloved cousins Kenneth and Steve Yandell and their family.
At the age of 9 years, D. Ray accepted Jesus Christ as his savior and became a Christian. He continued his walk with Christ and became a deacon in the Ozark Baptist Church where he served as Chairman of the Deacons and Sunday School Teacher for many years.
D. Ray particularly enjoyed the wonderful visits from all of his friends and family these past few weeks. He loved his family, his friends, and life, but most of all he loved his heavenly Father who now welcomes him home.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday morning, June 1, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the Ozark Baptist Church. Pastor David Michael Webb will officiate. Burial will be in the Reynoldsburg Cemetery.
Visitation will be conducted Tuesday evening, May 31, 2016, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday morning at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Ozark Baptist Church, 820 Ozark Road, Ozark, Illinois 62972.
To share a memory of D. Ray or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit www.baileyfh.com