Obituary: William Paul Yerzyk

Father, dedicated husband, loving grandfather, U.S. Marine

William Paul Yerzyk died March 23 at age 86. 

Born and raised in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Bill was an avid football player. He played quarterback and punter at Ambridge High School, earning a scholarship to Juniata College, where he caddied with future NFL coach, Chuck Knox. He was forever a Steelers fan.

He joined the U.S. Marine Corps when the country was between wars. While on leave, he met his late wife Elaine at a USO dance. The couple moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin after their  wedding and had two sons. He completed his engineering degree at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. 

The young family then moved to Massachusetts for 11 years after he was offered a position with Raytheon working on the Apollo program, and then later defense related projects. He received his MBA at Boston College. 

The family enjoyed trips to visit his wife’s family in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Chicago, as well as Milwaukee. “Willie” took his family to Ambridge to visit his parents, uncle Mike and aunt Helen, and others that he knew growing up.

In 1976, he moved to Claremont, where he continued to work in the defense industry. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, Elaine D. Yerzyk, in 2002.

He was fortunate to marry again in 2004, to Norma Blakeslee Yerzyk, of Claremont, who survives him, along with his sons, Richard W. Yerzyk and daughter-in-law, Mary E. Yerzyk, of West Hills, California; and W. Randolph Yerzyk, of Seal Beach, California; and grandchildren Nick, Katie (McKenna), Cameron and Meghan.

He is also survived by his sister-in-law Cathryn Pinter; nephew David Binkowski (Christine); nieces, Laura Gouveia (Michael) and Sandra Ann Binkowski; step-brother-in-law David Hopland and wife Sue Hopland; step-daughters, Sharon Blakeslee, Diane Boyce (David), Janet Gates (and her late husband, Steve Gates), and their four children, Daniel, Steven, Jennifer Tarr (Robert) and Rebecca. 

A funeral mass will be held Monday, May 10 at St. Mel Catholic Church, 20870 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364. Interment will follow at Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery, 22601 Lassen St., Chatsworth, CA 91311.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests a mass in Mr. Yerzyk’s honor, or a contribution to your favorite charity.


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