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David Newton Yarberry, 89, left to meet our Lord on Sunday, September 24, 2023, after an extended time in hospice care at the Life Care Center in Pueblo. The only child of David Stonewall Yarberry and Mary Vashti (Bedwell) Yarberry. David was born on May 14, 1934, in Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1939, his parents moved back to Pueblo, his father’s birthplace, where he would live most of his adult life.
David grew up on 10th and 6th Streets on Pueblo’s East side and attended Centennial High School, graduating in 1952. After high school, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and completed Boot Camp at Camp Pendleton, California. Being the talented musician that he was, David was assigned to the Marine Corps Band and suffered through quite a tough duty! Marching in the Rose Bowl Parade and playing at the Miss America Pageant was arduous indeed! He spent the final year of his enlistment in Okinawa before being honorably discharged as a Corporal. Following his service, he began work as a clerk for the CF&I Power Steel Mill, where he would serve for the next 40 years. As a civilian, David finally had the time to strike up a romantic interest in his lifelong neighbor and friend, Gaynee Johnson. The two were wed on January 19, 1958, at First Presbyterian Church in Pueblo, and went on to have three sons: Ken, Scott, and Bob, each of whom would marry and have children of their own. Ken married Catherine Nagle in 1986, Scott married JoAnna Collette in 1987, and Bob married Janelle Howard in 1995.
David was a humble, and quiet man. He was quite content letting Gaynee talk for both of them. That is of course until he picked up his trumpet. Music was his true passion, one that started when he learned to play trumpet at the D.Z. Phillips music store and marched in the Phillips Crusader Boys Band, which was a military-style boys’ band that played at many events throughout Colorado between 1925-1940s. Mr. Phillips promised “to make good boys better.” Dave continued with music through high school playing in the Centennial HS marching band and orchestra. It was no surprise to anyone that “Bugleberry,” as he was known by his high school classmates, would join the Marines to be part of the Marine Corps Band.
Following his time in the Marine Corps, he continued pursuing his musical passion playing for the Pueblo City Orchestra during concerts at Mineral Palace and City Parks. He played for decades with Buddy Johnson and Chuck Spurlock in their dance bands and sang tenor in the First Presbyterian Church choir. He was an exceptional trumpet player and some his family’s proudest moments came from watching him solo during the Christmas Eve and Easter services at church. It also wasn’t uncommon to see David put his talents to some other colorful, less-conventional uses… like frightening flocks of birds out of the neighborhood trees with a startling loud blast, much to the utter delight of his grandchildren.
His other passion was the St. Louis Cardinals. He would spend hours examining the box scores of Cardinals games in the Sporting News, checking for errors, and reliving each game through the statistics.
Dave was a devoted husband and father, and he took his job as breadwinner very seriously. During the various times there was a strike at the mill, Dave drove a cab or worked as a clerk at 7-11 to make ends meet. He always provided for his family and took great pride in the fact that his family never went hungry even in lean times. They never thought they were rich, but they never felt poor, either.
David and Gaynee were devoted swim parents and had the sunburns to prove it. They attended every Bessemer Blue Whale and Central High School swim meet in which their three sons participated in. Dave worked as a timer and later as a swim official in age-group and high school swimming for his sons’ meets. He even learned how to score diving from Cecil Townsend, the long-time local swim coach for the Blue Whales and East High School.
Dave was a man of few words. If one wanted to know what he was thinking or how he was feeling, one only had to look in his eyes. His sons would learn the consequences of being on the business-end of his “look” at various stages of their adolescence. The eldest would learn as he ill-advisedly pushed his fully-clothed dad into the pool to celebrate a first dual-meet swim victory. The middle son would learn when he informed his dad that he’d driven the family Jeep into the Arkansas River. The youngest son would learn as he stood beneath the watchful side-eye of his dad playing trumpet in church. The boys are likely only alive today because Gaynee thought the boys’ antics were hilarious.
David worked his entire life at CF&I retiring from the Mill in 1997 with over forty years of service. After he retired, he drove for Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to the homebound and to county residents for over twenty years until he was no longer able to drive.
He was a member of the BPOE Lodge #90, and was an Elk for over thirty years. He also was an 8-gallon club blood donator for the American Red Cross. He was a dedicated member of the First Presbyterian Church, serving numerous occasions as deacon and elder, and he sang in the church choir.
During their golden years in Pueblo West, after his retirement, David and Gaynee were faithful members of the old-timer’s coffee group that gathered most days at the Shell Station in Pueblo West. This was often the highlight of their day.
David Yarberry is pre-deceased by his parents and his grandson Brett. He leaves to cherish his memory; his beloved wife of 65 years, Gaynee (Johnson) Yarberry; his three sons, Ken (Catherine) Yarberry, Scott (JoAnna) Yarberry, and Bob (Janelle) Yarberry. He also leaves behind; three granddaughters, Lorna, Brittany, and Janie; three grandsons, Scotty, Pierce, and James; and three great-grandsons, Ritchie, Johnny, and Aries.
He has answered the Lord’s call home, and we are sure he is one of Saint Peter’s heralds working his way up from last chair to first. Lord, your kind and humble servant is ready to come home.
At his request cremation, no formal services.