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Don Yahrling Memorial this weekend in Deland

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It is with sadness that I am reporting the death of Don Yahrling to the skydiving community. Don was found in his office/home this morning by a local skydiver, and appears to have passed away peacefully.

The ME and police have just left and we have no official word yet, but I am sure more will be posted in the near future.

Uncle Don's service to the skydiving industry and community will be sorely missed.

RIP Don


edited simply to change the title of the thread. -Chuck
Pete Draper,

Just because my life plan is written on the back of a Hooter's Napkin, it's still a life plan.... right?

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It is with sadness that I am reporting the death of Don Yahrling




Dude, I am totaly bummed by that news. I don't know what to say..:(
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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It is with sadness that I am reporting the death of Don Yahrling to the skydiving community. Don was found in his office/home this morning by a local skydiver, and appears to have passed away peacefully.

The ME and police have just left and we have no official word yet, but I am sure more will be posted in the near future.

Uncle Don's service to the skydiving industry and community will be sorely missed.

RIP Don



That sucks.

I always enjoyed Don's company, and looked forward to seeing him again.

I am glad I got to know him, and will miss him.


BSBD,

Winsor

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Don was one of the best AFF certification course directors and his service in the cause of student safety needs to be noted. Hey USPA, this year's Achievement Award right over here, please . . .

People often said Don and I looked alike and both of us have been mistaken for the other. When we first met many years ago, we stood staring at each other, and we both said the same thing at the time, "I don’t see it!"

Sweet dreams, Don . . .

NickD
BASE 194

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It is with sadness that I am reporting the death of Don Yahrling to the skydiving community. Don was found in his office/home this morning by a local skydiver, and appears to have passed away peacefully.

The ME and police have just left and we have no official word yet, but I am sure more will be posted in the near future.

Uncle Don's service to the skydiving industry and community will be sorely missed.

RIP Don




Holy SHIT! You have got to be kidding me, Peter! Don was in fantastic shape. I am shocked!

A quick edit to say that I have known Don for over 15 years and that I will miss him. For those that did not know it, Don was a US Army Special Forces guy way back in the day. He was the course director (the only one in the USPA at the time; Paul Sitter passed the job onto him) for my first AFF Instructor Qualification Course in 1990 (the one I failed). He was a straight-forward, very thorough instructor. He served a variety of posts in the USPA heirarchy over the years and stayed on top of things like very few others are capable of. He was a really smart guy and had a dry wit. Some would describe Uncle Don as "Napoleonic";).

BSBD, you ornery cuss! You will be missed by a lot of us here at Raeford.

Chuck

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This is real sad news...

Don was in Colorado a few weeks ago teaching an AFF certification course. I happened to be taking my Coach rating course at the same time.

I saw Don make an "impression" on the DZ, it was my take that he was trying to show a little intimidation to the prospective AFF instructors, taking them (in a good way) out of their comfort zone...

Don came into our classroom and entertained us with stories and words of wisdom greater than what I can express here. He clearly wanted to share his energy and spirit with us, even though we were not his students, he just had time to share with us.

Don volunteered to do some of our eval check dives. I saw this as a challenge, so I took it head on. I asked him if he would evaluate me.

He told me he would be playing the character of "Vinny" - a New York Taxi Cab driver, who had come to Colorado for a three week vacation to get away from home on some well needed R&R after a death in the family.

Sure enough, when we timed in, there he was, the taxi cab driver - the polar opposite personality of me. He pushed gently to see what I would do and what I would say.

He picked up on everything... From me slightly extending my index finger while saying "good point" and him responding, "you want me to pull, I am not even wearing a rig?" to small manurisms I made when I was not comfortable teaching a subject matter out of my comfort zone.

I had already decided, when it was time for me to get an AFFI rating, Don was going to be my instructor...

Don, you will be missed by all those who knew you. Thank you for investing in our community.

Travis

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I'm at a loss for words.

We argued a lot over the years. I remember he stopped speaking to me once because I'd posted something that really pissed him off. But he never failed to present his cheek for a kiss (kind of like kissing the Pope's ring), and more often than not (unless he was really annoyed), I'd get a hug too.

He almost always made me laugh, even when it was at my own expense, which was usually.

I can't believe he's gone. :(

rl
If you don't know where you're going, you should know where you came from. Gullah Proverb

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My friend and mentor. I can not believe you just took off like that. You are missed and your legacy is thousands of new skydivers around the world who would not be jumping without you.

Farewell Don-san,

Jari


"Up here, above the fog, in the lonely dark
emptiness, there is no Life and Death. There is
infinity and a moment in between, when we fly
so full of life and so close to death that they
become one. We are free, and everybody who has
tasted this freedom is alive forever. "

R.B. - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Wow, that is very sad to hear. I send my regards to his family and friends. I met Don an few times at the tunnel and he was always in a pleasant mood. Rest in eternal peace.

-Bowen
Retired Tunnel Instructor, Sky/Tunnel Coach

Former dealer for 2k Composites, Skysystems, Alti-2, Wings

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A few minutes ago I read Richard Schachner's email telling me of Don's death, and I'm shocked. He is one of the last people I would expect to hear that kind of news about.

I'm going to miss him. He was one of skydiving's true "characters", and he held _so_ much knowledge.

Skydiving has been dealt a cruel blow today.

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That's terrible news.

I jumped with Don a bunch back when he was the DZO at Palatka. Great guy.

He made the cover of Parachutist magazine (at least) once. It's a black and white photo of a jumper in HALO gear.

Perhaps someone can find an image of that and post it here.

Blue skies, Don!

shall

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Don was in Colorado a few weeks ago teaching an AFF certification course.



It's funny you mention that as it made me recall something that I really liked about Don. About a year or so ago, while I was in Deland teaching a BMI course, Don said he wanted to sit in on my course to get up to speed again. Don asked questions during the course and later on came up and told me how much he had learned from me. Knowing Don's background and experience in the sport, I found it refreshing that a man as knowledgeable as he was, still took the time to continue learning and never considered himself to be done learning. Don may have seemed crotchity to some folks but if you have spent any time in the military, you could instantly relate to him. I spent many a night in the Perfect spot swapping old SF storys with Don, I'll really miss that.[:/]
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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