Walter Steven Yarnold
April 5, 1947 – January 10, 2020
Walter Steven Yarnold, 72, passed away Friday, January 10, 2020 at the Heath Village Retirement Community in Hackettstown following a lengthy fight against Parkinson’s disease.
He is survived by his two sons, Matthew Yarnold and wife Katelyn, Charles Yarnold and fiancé Kimberly Carey; mother, Doris Yarnold; sister, Beth Yarnold and husband Chuck Fauer; brother Douglas Yarnold and wife Rina, nephews Adam Fauer, Ben Fauer, Jacob Yarnold and David Yarnold; step-son, Michael Bohrer; two grandchildren, Kinley and Collin; and many close friends and extended family.
Born and raised in Bloomfield, NJ, the son of Charles and Doris Yarnold, he was a lifelong resident of Mount Olive, NJ.
Growing up, Walter had a passion for music and fell in love with the trumpet after listening to Maynard Ferguson’s album “Maynard 61”. He said he had never heard anything like it and was immediately hooked. He started playing the trumpet in 8th grade and never looked back. Walter studied music at the Juilliard School in New York City. He played with a variety of bands and performed at Town Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and many times at Carnegie Hall.
After life on the road as a musician, Walter changed his focus to educating future generations of musicians. For over 30 years he served as the band director at Black River Middle School in Chester, NJ. One thing that gave him great satisfaction was opening students’ minds to different types of music.
As deep as his love was for music, that paled in comparison to the love he had for his family. Being a father became his new passion. He never missed a baseball game, graduation, or any other milestone in his sons’ lives.
- Funeral Service Sunday, January 12, 2020
- Burial Sunday, January 12, 2020
Walter Steven Yarnold
January 17, 2020
My youngest daughter in Virginia sent me a Facebook posting yesterday with the sad news of Walter's passing. As Mendham High School's band director, my program grew exponentially when Chester students were sent to Mendham instead of Central. The flood of band members from Walter's program was a testament to the joy of music that Walter inspired and the love his student's felt for Walter as a person (frequently expressed to me as they began high school). I wish I was aware of the memorial last weekend so I could share stories about Walter, but I will leave it at one anecdote from many years ago... Doug Beavers (Mendham Choral Director and friend of Walter) came up to the Beavers family driveway in Flanders only to find Walter in the roadside of his property harvesting grape vines. Walter sheepishly explained that "Julie wanted him to get some grapevines for her wreath making". Those who knew Walter will have no trouble creating their own mental video clip of Walter haltingly offering up an embarrassed explanation of his activity. For the past 3 years I have been playing on Monday nights in a jazz band that rehearses at Heath Village and an enduring regret will be that I was unaware that a friend and former colleague was so near. I will always cherish my memories of a tall, thin, easygoing Walter with his matter-of-fact style and constant good natured laughing smile.
January 13, 2020
My condolences to Walter's two sons and to his family. Walter was a wonderful person. We had a lot of laughs together and he was a great musician. I worked with Walter for 27 years as a teacher and as a principal in Black River Middle School. My wife and I loved Walter. May Walter rest in peace for he is now in heaven. Donald and Barbara Markmann
January 12, 2020
Goodbye dear friend and colleague. You will be missed. May God welcome you into heaven. Walter and I have been friends for a very long time. Walt and I started teaching at the Black River Middle School the year it opened. We hit off right away and our friendship began to develop. As it happened Walt’s classroom and mine were next to each other. As a result we shared many good times and experiences. As I look back I can recall many fond memories: summer paint jobs, umpiring girls softball games, lunch duty, field trips, and trips to see the Yankees and many more. I want to remember you as it was not as it has become. Rest In Peace dear friend. God bless you. Marty
January 11, 2020
Walter and I worked together for twenty seven
years. We had so much fun just laughing all the time about silly things that would occur in
our band programs.
He was an excellent teacher, excellent musician, and most of all, a great friend.
January 11, 2020
Walter and I shared lunch duty at Black River Middle School and he always had me in stitches with his comments. He was a wonderful, caring person. I am so sad he is gone.