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William Yore Jr.

William “Bill” Yore Jr.

March 29th, 1955 - February 15th, 2024

Bill's Obituary

William Allen Yore, Jr. whose poignant 1974 Lakeshore High School Graduation Speech was captured by the Associated Press and published throughout the Country and Internationally, passed away on Thursday, February 15th, 2024, after a long battle with health issues.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, February 29, 2024 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 220 Church St., St. Joseph with Fr. Jack Pfeiffer officiating. Burial will follow at Hickory Bluff Cemetery in Stevensville. Friends may visit Wednesday, February 28, 2024 from 5:00P.M. until 7:30 P.M. with Celebratory in Memoriam at 6:30 P.M., at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to the Yore Family in c/o Margaret Farac [For Funeral Costs].
Those wishing to share a memory of Bill online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com

Bill was born March 29, 1955, in St. Joseph, MI, to Wynafred (Miller) and William Yore, Sr. Although Bill had lifelong progressive disabilities, Bill was well known for his amazing strength, extraordinary courage, along with his kind & gentle heart, and his never-ending love for God!

Bill had many interests and hobbies. He was an avid Cub’s Fan, he loved electronics/technology, traveling, playing his guitar, spending time with his huge family, and loved telling jokes to make others smile! Bill was proud of the many positions he held and the organizations to which he belonged. Bill held positions as a prep-cook, a landscaper, custodian, and the Manager of “Yore Favorite Things”. Bill loved being a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He was also a Fourth Degree Knight for the Knights of Columbus. Bill’s hard work and determination earned him a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Bill Attended Lake Michigan College for two years, he was a member of the Optimist Club, and the Berrien Kennel Club. He volunteered for many years at Lakeland Hospital and at Pine Ridge, where he also resided in recent years.

Bill was extremely proud to be part of Lakeshore High School’s ‘Class of 1974’. Bill, along with the help of his Mom, wrote a graduation speech, which was unanimously chosen by his classmates for Bill to recite at the graduation ceremony. Up until the early 1970’s, Special Education was not mandated as part of any public school’s curriculum; so for Bill, as a special education student, to not only receive a HS diploma, but also to be chosen to give his Commencement Speech, was truly remarkable achievement. Although Bill’s vocational desire was to join the Navy, his physical disabilities prevented this. Through the notoriety of his commencement speech, though, Bill’s aspirations were recognized by the US Navy and he was presented with a plaque naming him “Honorary Navy Recruiter”; a title for which Bill was extremely proud! Bill’s heart, resolution, and immeasurable strength of character helped pave the way for so many other kids with disabilities to reach for their dreams.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Kevin Yore and Michael Yore; his brothers-in-law, Stephen Woodrick and Christopher Williamsen; his niece, Heather Williamsen.
Bill is survived by his stepmom, Janice Yore; his Aunt Maxine Iversen; his siblings, Deborah Williamsen, Cathleen Woodrick, Pegi (Ron) Farac, Christine (Michael) Screes, Julie McWilliams (Jeffrey Lee), Theresa Yore (Dave Giudice), Sarah (Aaron) VanOosterhout, Rebecca Yore, Marie (Brian) Juengling, and Rob Palmer; 36 Nieces and Nephews and 22 Great Nieces and Nephews.
Eternal gratitude is given to Bill’s many family and friends, especially those at Pine Ridge, PACE, and the many healthcare providers who cared for Bill and became like extended family.

Service Details

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Additional Visitation Information

A Prayer Service will be held at 6:30 P.M.