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Obituary of Lawrence William Yoakum, Jr.
Lawrence William Yoakum, Jr.
August 1, 1946 ~ March 22, 2023
Lawrence W. Yoakum, Jr, age 76, died Wednesday, March 22, 2023 in Ocala, FL. He was born August 1, 1946, in Bloomington, IL to the late Mossie Jones Yoakum and Lawrence W. Yoakum, Sr. He graduated from Middlesboro High School in 1964 and joined the Navy in July. He attended Boot Camp at Naval Training Center Great Lakes. Larry had a deep love of science, space, and all things aviation. He started his naval career as an Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Technician (AX). His first duty station in 1965 was at NAS Brunswick, ME with VP-21, where he met and married his beloved wife Pam on October 14, 1967, then they were deployed overseas to Sigonella, Sicily. In 1968, Larry was assigned to Aviation Electronics School in Memphis, TN where Pam gave birth to their daughter Jennifer. A few weeks later, Larry and Pam were stationed at NAS Brunswick in VP-23 working on the P-2. While living in Brunswick, ME, Pam gave birth to their son Billy in 1971.
Larry was a valued member of many duty stations, ships, and squadrons including VS-28 at NAS Jacksonville, USS America, USS Independence, VAW-124 working on the E2-C Hawkeye in Norfolk, VA, Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, USS Nimitz, AIMD at NAS Norfolk, VRC-40 working on the C-2 Greyhound (COD) at NAS Keflavik and finishing at NAS Oceana where he retired as Chief Petty Officer on December 31, 1990.
After retiring from the Navy, Larry began a second career putting his knowledge of electronics and circuitry to use in the Electronic Security Industry, where he was an installation manager for JohnsBrothers Security in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. After 18 years, Larry retired for the second time and he and Pam moved to Ocala, FL to enjoy the warm weather, year-round golf and be closer to their daughter and her family.
Larry was a motorcycle rider, car lover, little league coach, basketball referee, sportsman of the year; supporter of all his kids interests and goals growing up; a great Santa Claus grandpa; and above all, a loving husband and father who loved his kids unconditionally. He was an active athlete most of his life. He was a competitive basketball player and golfer. He won several Naval Base Golf Championships during his Naval career and was selected to the U.S. NATO All Service Basketball Team in 1987. However, his passion was golf, and he took great pride in sharing his love for the game with his son Bill and his grandson Nicholas. Larry was a proud Member of Ocala Golf Club, enjoyed winning a few trophies and playing almost daily. He valued all his friends and “Golf Buddies” at Ocala Golf Club and was very fond of the staff they became an important part of his life after he lost his wife Pam.
Larry loved his family very much. He was a quiet soul who loved deeply who provided unwavering support for his family and was loved just as deep in return. He was preceded in death by the love of his life Pamela Ann Estes Yoakum in 2014; he is survived by his devoted daughter, Jennifer Ruppel and her husband Bill Ruppel of Ocala, FL, and grandsons Robert and Nicholas Ruppel; his beloved son Lawrence W. Yoakum, III (Bill) and wife Lisa Yoakum of Smithfield, VA and granddaughter Megan Yoakum; brother Doug Yoakum; sister Jean Lee; countless nieces and nephews.
There will be a Celebration of Life Service on Sunday, March 26th, 2023 at Heirs Baxley Funeral Service, 910 SE Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 3448. Larry will be interred Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL with Full Military Honors.
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Celebration of Life