John Yeager '63 Joins Chapter Celestial
John Arthur Yeager
May 24, 1944 — November 15, 2023
EDGEWOOD - John Arthur Yeager - a respected and successful business owner, passionate community servant, military officer and pilot, devoted family man – died Nov. 15 after a seven-month battle with cancer. He was 79 and passed away peacefully at his Edgewood home with his loving family by his side.
A native of Charleston, W.Va., John co-founded a successful home-building company and along with his college sweetheart and wife of 54 years, Bonnie, raised their family in Northern Kentucky. Handsome, friendly, engaging and driven, John was a leader in the business community known for treating his coworkers and customers like family and a constant presence on the boards of organizations focused on education, economic development, healthcare, the less fortunate and more.
John was born on May 24, 1944, in Charleston to Winston and Ardis Yeager. After graduating from Stonewall Jackson High School, John enrolled at The University of Kentucky. He showed early leadership skills by serving as president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He also met Bonnie while at UK.
After graduating from UK, John joined the United States Air Force. He was trained as a pilot and ultimately became a captain, flying the C-130 Hercules aircraft. As a Hercules pilot, he traveled to airshows around the world with the United States Army’s elite jump team, The Golden Knights.
John and Bonnie were married in 1969 and moved to Northern Kentucky, where John began working for the Pease Company and cultivating his love for home building.
Just three years after arriving in Northern Kentucky, John ventured out on his own and along with business partner Bill Kruetzjans founded Ashley Development, which has grown into one of the region’s leading residential and commercial developers.
John spent much of his life giving back to a wide array of organizations and institutions. He served as president of the Point/Arc of Northern Kentucky, president of the Homebuilders Association of Northern Kentucky and chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he sat on the boards of the Kenton County Airport, Tri-County Economic Development Corporation, Forward Quest, Northern Kentucky University’s Construction Management Advisor Board, Northern Kentucky Special Olympics, Saint Charles Care Center and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
An avid tennis player his entire life, John played in several national father-son tournaments with his sons, Jason and Justin. John was a finalist in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Father-Son clay court tournament, earning the prestigious Silver Ball award, and was once ranked as high as fourth in the nation. Along with tennis, John enjoyed drawing and painting, movies, rock ‘n’ roll, and family trips to Longboat Key, Florida.
In addition to his wife Bonnie (nee Sherman), John is survived by sons Jason (Crista) and Jeremy, daughter-in-law Alison Yeager-Fichner (Jeffrey), and his five grandchildren – Drew Yeager, Alex Yeager, Ben Yeager, Jack Fichner and Elle Fichner. He was preceded in death by his youngest son, Justin, and his brother, Robert Yeager.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Nov. 28, at St. Pius X Church from 9:30 a.m. until 11 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m. The burial will be held privately by the family at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Middendorf Funeral Home in Ft. Wright is handling the arrangements.
Instead of flowers, the Yeager family has asked for memorial donations to The Point/Arc of Northern Kentucky, 104 W. Pike Street, Covington, KY 41011. Online condolences to Middendorf Funeral Home.