Deceased May 2, 2011

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In Memory

If I had to think of one thing to say about Steve Yarnall, it was his marvelous and abounding sense of humor. Steve was born Feb. 2, 1934, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and died May 2, 2011, in Edmonds, Wash., after a brief battle with cancer. Before Amherst, he graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Ohio.

While at Amherst, he majored in biology. He was a member of Phi Psi fraternity and vice president of the Zumbyes. He loved a good game of tennis and played very well. Steve enjoyed a vigorous discussion on almost any topic, particularly conversations about current events.

After Amherst, Steve went to the University of Rochester Medical School for his M.D. and the University of Washington, Seattle, for his M.S. in biostatistics. He had 12 years of training at the University of Washington before entering private practice in internal medicine and cardiology. 

In January 2000, Steve fell 30 feet from a ski lift and had serious injuries leading to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. He attributed his survival and return to medical practice to “elements of care beyond the good medical care I received. These elements include love and prayer, touch and humor, music and pets.”

He was a member of the National Speakers Association and a speaker at the Humor Conference, author of “Doc Talk” in the Hope Health letter, co-founder of Doctor Cookie and a 25-year member of the Seattle Seafare Clowns, where he assumed the identity of “Doctor Quack,” a Seattle Seafare clown.

Steve is survived by his wife, Lynn; four children, Thomas, David, Robert, and Terry; and three grandchildren.

Love, laughter and an overwhelming dedication to his family and the practice of medicine—that’s how we will remember Steve.

Ted Ruegg ’55