Deceased February 23, 2021

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In Memory

Stephen Keyes “Sky” Yardley passed away in Shelburne, Vt., on Feb. 23, 2021, after living with dementia since 2015. Raised in Needham, Mass., he arrived at Amherst with the class of ’72. 

Steve Strimer ’72 recalls the affection and admiration he had for Sky: “Sky seemed to be walking the walk of what an aspirational hippie life might look like.” Sky left campus senior year and embarked on a journey of discovery that took him to California, British Columbia, Hawaii and the Appalachian Trail. His never-ending life of wanderlust provided an education as deep as any college could offer. In 1973, he moved to Frog Run Farm, a commune in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where he reveled in learning hands-on skills, farming, building and tinkering. 

Sky began delivering produce to the Corner Café, a vegetarian restaurant in Randolph, Vt., in 1984. There he met Jane Dwinell, the café owner, who became his beloved and best friend; in 1985, they embarked on their life journey together. Sky and Jane built their off-grid homestead, Full Moon Farm, in Irasburg, Vt., where they raised two children, Dana and Sayer. While homesteading and parenting, Sky attended Woodbury College in Montpelier, Vt., and became a family mediator, a career that built on his lifelong attention to conflict resolution and healthy relationships.

Sky was a curious, playful, easygoing and loving partner, parent and friend. His greatest joy, beyond spending time with family and friends, was being in the natural world: working in the woods, hiking or skiing mountains or floating on the water. He loved music—especially playing the piano and enjoying the live music of New Orleans—and he had a song for every occasion.

The class of ’72 extends its heartfelt sympathies to Jane and the rest of Sky’s family.

Eric Cody ’72