Robert T. Yankevicz
Captain, Elizabeth Fire Department (Retired)
(September 9, 1936 - September 19, 2023)
Captain Robert T. Yankevicz, 87, of the Elizabeth Fire Department, departed peacefully on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at the Center For Hope Hospice.
An Elizabeth native who settled in Green Brook, Robert, known as 'Bob', was a fireman, a friend, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, great-uncle and so much more. Bob’s purpose in life always seemed to be in the service of others.
Bob showed a dedication to service early: At 18, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in Japan with the 5th Calvary Regiment. His service sparked an insatiable interest in the military history of WWI, WWII, and Korea. He read hundreds of books on military history and toured many of the WWI and WWII battlefields and military cemeteries in Europe.
After his service, in 1961, he embarked on a 36-year career with the Elizabeth Fire Department, where his bravery, commitment, and mentorship of others led him to the respected title of Captain of Engine Three. He instilled in his company the need to be physically fit to do the job; and to train, train, train, so that they were confident and prepared for the chaos that could happen on scene. When he received his 50-year badge, he simply said, “I loved every minute of fire service, I love all of you firefighters. Be safe out there.” He would say the same to you today.
Children held a special place in his heart as Bob was a big kid himself — he spent time with his children, horsing around in the pool, playing hide and seek, going to the beach, and anything else that would be fun with all of them. Later, he spent countless hours playing games and relishing beach trips with his great-nieces and nephews. As much fun as Bob could be, he was also keenly aware of when someone was in need and was always generous with his time, willing to help family members or friends with projects big and small.
Bob was preceded in death by his cherished daughter, Deborah Yankevicz, his loving parents, Joseph and Emily Yankevicz, and his sisters, Carol and Joan.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Barbara Hunter-Yankevicz; children, Robert Thomas Yankevicz Jr. and Linda Monath; grandchildren, Heather Monath and Jennifer Braccini; great-grandchildren, Lilyann, Lunella, and Leah; nieces, Julie Labrutto, Laura Venezio, Jessica Remo, and Melanie, Carey, Valerie and Gregory Erff; as well as six great-nieces and nephews.
All are invited to share memories on Monday, September 25, 2023, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ. A Funeral Mass in honor of Bob will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Our Lady of the Mount RC Church in Warren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Bob's memory can be directed to the Center for Hope Hospice, 1900 Raritan Road, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, or online at cfhh.org/donate.