James (Fred) Yeager 84 of Richland passed away May 13, 2023. Fred was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to James Frederick Yeager and Dora Alice Chatten. He is proceeded in death by a sister Wilmetta, sister Helen Y. Chastain, Brother Roy (Dorothy), and sister Milly Y. Armstrong (Robert). Fred married Lynne Smit and always bragged to people about how they have been married 67 years.
Fred’s lifelong friendship with Don “Big Daddy” Garlits began in the 50’s when he worked with Don at the start of his career. His love of dragster racing brought many car owners to him to make modifications on their cars, build engines etc. Fred built his own dragster and would race at Martin drag way and many other local tracks. Fred was also a long-distance truck driver hauling steel out of Gary, In, to different parts of the country.
After getting his pilot’s license he worked as a FAA licensed mechanic at Kal-Aero. While working there he help rebuild the Ford Trimotor. Fred got re-involved with racing this time with midget cars. He not only worked on the cars but raced them as well. Fishing and hunting were a big part of his life, and he always produced the best stories. Fred and Lynne would play guitars and sing with other local musicians around town for fun.
Fred is survived by his wife Lynne, son Jim, daughter Sherrie Y. Thomas (David) daughter Julie Y. Moyer (Jack), son Ned (Clara). He is also survived by 6 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild.
We would personally like to give heart felt thank you’ s to Dr. Collins and Dr. Doyle for the many years of friendship, support and understanding. Thank you to our neighbors and family friends who have pulled together to make our parents lives easier.
A small family celebration was held, and we ask that in lieu of flowers please donate to your local food banks.
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