Joseph John Yancik, Jr., Ph.D., born December 1, 1930 in Mount Olive, Illinois, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2020 at his home surrounded by his loved ones. Joseph, the son of Joseph John Yancik, Sr. (deceased) and Anna Lorraine Gubach Yancik (deceased) of Mount Olive, Illinois, is survived by his daughters, Geri Anne Yancik McCafferty (Stan Weil) and Ellen Marie Yancik Finnerty (Michael Duffy Finnerty). Joseph is also survived by his grandchildren, Erin Shea Finnerty, Ryan Joseph Finnerty, Casey Katherine Rose Finnerty and Grace Marie McCafferty. Joseph is also survived by his brother, James Yancik and sisters, Virginia, Judith and Linda.
Following his graduation and attainment of a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from the University of Missouri, Joseph lived in Creve Coeur, Missouri and Fairfax and McLean, Virginia. Doctoral level students are required to enroll in rigorous graduate courses, pass challenging comprehensive examinations and prepare a dissertation focusing on original research before earning a Ph.D. Joseph presented a dissertation entitled “Some physical, chemical and thermohydrodynamic parameters of explosive ammonium nitrate-fuel oil mixtures”. Joseph began his career at the Monsanto Chemical Company after obtaining his doctorate. He relocated his family to Fairfax, Virginia in the early 1970’s to accept a position with the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, in Washington, D.C. Joseph was in the first delegation to visit China during the Nixon administration at a time when China was a closed country. He traveled to Russia, Korea, Japan, Australia, South America and many other countries for his employment with the Federal Government. This was at a time when global travel was rare. He held several positions at the Federal agency and then accepted a position with the Department of Energy where he remained until retirement.
Joseph and his late wife, Rosemary, had an active and fulfilling personal life. He was a life-long avid gardener producing voluminous amounts of fresh vegetables for the entire family to enjoy. He often had to give away baskets of produce due to his extraordinary green thumb and ever-expanding garden plot. Joseph and Rosemary traveled many times to Italy for pleasure. They enjoyed the culture and food and wine on tours and visited lifelong friends living in Italy. During retirement, Joseph honed his grilling and cooking skills and became the chef of the family while Rosemary continued working. He was a skilled handyman and amateur auto mechanic who kept a fleet of cars running for his wife and daughters, sometimes to the dismay of his wife. He had a habit of purchasing replacement vehicles before disposing of the vehicle being replaced, thus accumulating a veritable parking lot of cars in front of the house. Luckily, the house was situated in a court and not on a busy street! Joseph cherished his 4 grandchildren and made frequent visits to Tennessee and Pennsylvania to visit them. We feel privileged to have had such a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him. A celebratory dinner will be held for immediate family and close friends in the future as state regulations allow. The family requests that donations be made in lieu of flowers to catangel.org.
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