On Wednesday evening around sunset, a wonderful man named Lenn Yarbrough breathed his last struggling breath. For the last few days and hours, he was surrounded by his wife, Millie his large family and friends, all who loved him. He was born in Marble, Arkansas in 1925 to Jasper T. and Mary Josephine Yarbrough. They moved their family to Arizona when Dad was 12. He was in high school when Pearl Harbor was attacked and his mother had died a short time earlier, making the choice to enlist and do his part for the country an easy matter. He went into the Navy, and much to his dismay, he was never in a battle. Nonetheless, good things came from the Navy for it was there that he met Amelia Grucella, an office worker in the WAVES, they were married on March 30, 1946 in Norfolk, VA. They were never apart until now and it leaves wonderful memories and a broken heart in Mom’s life. Along the way, they reared nine children; Frances Jo (Clyde) Fruchey, Starlyn Ann (John) Post, James L. Yarbrough, Jr., Robert G. (Heather) Yarbrough, Timothy F. (Mary Jo) Yarbrough, Donna M. (Steven) Schneider, Gregory S. (Yolanda) Yarbrough, Jeffery G. Yarbrough and Michael J. Yarbrough. Also survived by older sister Irene DeMarce, and several nieces and nephews. These children, through their marriages brought many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and spouses into the lives of Dad and Mom. It would be impossible to recount all the good times we all had in their home. Lenn always worked, spending most of his life operating construction equipment for Salt River Project. He forged many life long friendships along the way and surely his friends who are still alive will miss him. Most importantly, Lenn was a man of God. Millie brought him into the Catholic faith where he learned to love our Heavenly Father. He served the poor through the St. Vincent de Paul Society for many years. He was an enthusiastic Cursillo member, walking the walk, not just talking the walk. He was blessed on the last morning of his earthly life by the taste of the Holy Eucharist, and savored it. I was blessed to witness the event that evening, after I had said my last goodbyes and kissed my dad for the last time. As I left the hospice, looking to the west, I witnessed an absolutely beautiful sunset, the sun’s rays breaking through the clouds. I recall evenings with friends in my youth, when we would sit outside the front porch with the light off and when Dad decided that it was time for his kids to come in, he would flick the porch light a couple times then leave it on. The sunset, I believe, was emitted on our Heavenly Father’s front porch and it meant, “it’s time to come in, Lenn”. You’ll always be in our hearts. Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 pm, with a Rosary at 7:00 pm, Monday, July 5th, 2010 at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phx. Funeral Service will be at 10:00 am, Tuesday, July 6th also at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery.
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