John S. Yaryan Jr.

September 9, 1935July 9, 2018

Colonel John S. Yaryan Jr. died on July 9, 2018 at home near Houston Texas.

He was the first born son of John S. and Susan B. Yaryan in Toledo Ohio on September 9, 1935. He graduated from Tucson High, with the honor of being All-State on the two year State Football Champions in 1953. At the University of Arizona, John was a Life Loyal Member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. While at the UofA he lettered 3 years and was AAU Wrestling Champ. Upon graduation in 1957, he was Commissioned Second Lieutenant and selected for U.S. Air Force Pilot Training. Primary Training was in Bainbridge, Georgia and Basic was at Laredo AFB, Texas. Upon graduation, he earned his Wings and John III was born (a True Texan!).

John's first Combat Aircraft was the B-47. He completed training at McConnell AFB, Kansas, then on to Combat Ready Base Davis-Monthan, back in his home town. He was B-47 Aircraft Commander and Standardization Member at Lincoln AFB. In 1966, it was on to B-52 school then on to his Combat Ready Base (Fairchild AFB, WA). During his four year assignment as an Aircraft Commander, he completed 6 tours in Southeast Asia with over 250 Combat Missions earning three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 15 Air Medals. In 1970, he was selected as an Instructor Pilot at the B-52 Combat Crew Training School. In 1973, John was again selected for a Squadron Commander's job in Thailand and Viet Nam. Upon his return he was selected as Squadron Commander of a Heavy Maintenance Squadron. His Squadron excelled and won the Best Maintenance Squadron in the Air Force.

The next two years were back to school: First completing his Master’s Degree at Oklahoma University. Then on to another Master’s at the U. S. Army War College. His next assignment was the most challenging; Strategic Bomber Operations in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Later, he returned to Fairchild AFB as Base Commander. He loved driving around in his Staff Car (with Lights and Siren!!). After three years in Washington State he returned to Washington, DC, as Senior Military Officer in the FAA. John's final assignment was with the U.S. Embassy in Manila, The Philippines. The best part: Back to flying a VIP Aircraft. Upon Retirement he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

John and his spouse Jeri of more than 40 years moved to Las Vegas to enroll in the University of Nevada Las Vegas. John earned another Master’s and his Teaching Certificate. He spent the next fifteen years teaching Science and Social Studies in an Alternative High School (problem kids). A challenging job indeed. He was proud of being awarded the Liberty Bell Award, presented by the Bar Association for Excellence in Law Related Education.

Upon final retirement John and Jeri (Cooper, originally from Moncure, NC) moved to Houston, Texas, to be close to their youngest daughter. They shared a passionate love of travel. They traveled the world: all 7 Continents and 80 plus countries and islands.

John is survived by his beloved wife Jeri. Children: John S. III (wife Katie), Susan Page (husband Nick), Jill Menendez (husband Daniel) and Tom. ("Love without end! Amen...") They have 12 Grandchildren and 2 Great Grandchildren. John will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors.


John S. Yaryan Jr.

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Maureen Kelly

January 27, 2019

Mrs. Yaryan,

So sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I remember meeting him as a teen and him telling me about his love of flying and his love of the Air Force. I am glad you had 40 plus years together enjoying life and travel. It is also nice that you settled close to Jill so that you have her and some of your grandchildren to comfort you during this most difficult time.


Maureen (AKA - Mo)


July 14, 2018

John and I were friends at Tucson High School. John was the same to his friends his whole life. He will be missed greatly but never forgotten. Over the last few years John and I reconnected first at our HS reunions and then visited with each other on Skype. He had a very sharp mind and sometimes we would talk for an hour or so. He was a true American Patriot and loved our country. I will miss you dear friend but soon will be meeting up with you again. Your Wife and children will carry over your values and the memories of your life will slowly soften the pain of missing your physical being. Your friend forever, Paul Kershner

Barbara Vestal

July 11, 2018

Every Sunday morning at the 8:00 o’clock Service at St. Catherine of Sienna Episcopal Church, I would always look forward to giving John and Jeri a hug. They always sat in the very same spot, and always welcomed me with a big smile, and we would share a laugh or two. John was one of the kindest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and it was very clear that he loved life and adored his family. I will miss seeing him on Sunday mornings. I will be keeping you Jeri, and all of your family, in my prayers. May God hold you gently, in the palm of His hand.🙏🙏❤️