Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services Offering dignified services since 1919

Back to Obituaries

Mary E Yingst

Mary E Yingst

Mary Elizabeth “Bess” Yingst, age 103, of Durand passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Welcome Home Assisted Living in Elmwood, Wisconsin with her family by her side.

Bess was born on July 9, 1916 in Menomonie, Wisconsin to Charles and Alice (Hickey) Bauer.  At the age of four her mother passed away and Bess and her siblings moved to Durand, Wisconsin and were raised by their grandmother Caroline Bauer.  Grandma Bauer owned a hat shop in Durand where Bess loved to work and visit with the customers.  She also loved to sell vegetables in her little wagon singing while selling her produce up and down the streets.  Bess attended St. Mary’s Catholic School in Durand through tenth grade and graduated from Durand High School in 1934.  In her high school years she worked at her brother George’s movie theater.  After graduation she worked in Eau Claire, Wisconsin at Presto supporting the war effort.

Later Bess moved to Texas and worked at Harlingen Air Force Base.  It was there that she met her future husband Major Harvey J. Yingst.  They were married on May 9th, 1944 in Mission, Texas.  They moved to Arkansaw, Wisconsin after WWII and she worked for many years as a clerk at the Arkansaw Post Office.  Bess was a Cub Scout Den Mother for many years. She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and served as group leader in St.  Ann’s Altar Society.  She also taught tap dancing and ballroom dancing for many years to young people in the Durand and Arkansaw area.

After retirement Bess and Harvey spent many years wintering in Florida, Texas and Arizona enjoying time spent with their “snow bird” friends.

Bess had a deep faith in God and a real zest for life.  She was witty, fun, and was said to “always light up a room when she entered.” She loved to spend time with her children, grand-children, relatives and friends.

Bess is survived by two sons, Bill (Marilyn) of Arkansaw, Wisconsin and Rick (Lynn) of San Bernadino, California.  Grandsons, Bill Yingst Jr. (Sarah) Colfax, Wisconsin and Paul (Stephanie), US Army in Germany.  Further survived by 5 great grandchildren; Allison, Hannah, McKenna, Wyatt and Dalton, 2 step-grandchildren, and half-sister, Joyce Muckenfuss of Schenectady, New York, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Harvey, (in 2000), son Joe, sisters, Ruth Auth, Florence Gustafson, Evelyn Doyle; brothers George Bauer and Albert John Bauer, and half-sisters Carol Davis and Dorothy Bauer.

The family would like to extend their sincere “thank you” to Mel and staff at “Welcome Home Assisted Living”, Elmwood, Wisconsin for the past two years making a comfortable and caring home for Mom.  Also; our heartfelt gratitude to St. Croix HOSPICE for their compassion, comfort and love. It takes special people to make everyone feel like family.  

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Arkansaw, Wisconsin at 11:00 AM, Saturday, January 25, 2020.  Father Joseph Okine-Quartey officiating.  Visitation will be from 9:00AM until the time of services at the church on Saturday.

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Durand, is serving the family.


  1. Sandi (Hutter) Olson

    Just heard about Bessie. My thoughts and prayers are with you. She taught me to tap dance and I remember watching her dance with such grace.

  2. Colfax Sportsmen’s Club

    We are sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.
    Members of the Colfax Sportsmens Club.

  3. Jeffrey Uhlig

    Thoughts and prayers are with the Yingst family as they work through this difficult time.

  4. Constance Julia (Connie Bauer) Harmon

    My parents were Dale and Dorothy Bauer. Bess was my dad's first cousin and she was beloved by both my parents. I also remember her fondly - she was very special lady. My deepest condolences to her family.

  5. Glenn and Rose Peterson

    Sending our love and prayers. May you always feel her joyous spirit with you.

  6. Lee Rivas

    To Paul and his family...my sincere condolences on the loss of your mom. She is now in the hands of our Lord. Prayers to all of you.

  7. Donna and Richard Karshbaum

    You All Have our Deepest Sympathy,God Bless You All!????

  8. Dan & Jeanette

    What a delight Mary was. When I substituted as a mail carrier she would light up the room. I will always treasure those memories. God bless her family.

  9. Barb Overman

    My thoughts and prayers too the family.

  10. Joe and Jan Drier

    Our Deepest Sympathy to the Yingst Family!

  11. Dave Weber

    Sorry for your loss Rick and family.

  12. Patricia A Rosenberg

    Dear Bessie was my neighbor at the Washington St. Apts. In Durand for many years. She was one of the most special ladies I have ever known. She certainly aged well, still a beautiful lady. Rest in peace with your hubby. It was a pleasure to know you. Peace and love to your family????

  13. Steve Sedlmayr

    Bill and Family...
    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate your loved one’s passing. It appears that she lived a wonderful life, making her mark during her life and now in those she leaves behind!

  14. thomas biles

    sorry to hear about mom
    prayers to the family

  15. Marilyn Baier Mariette

    Bess was an amazing lady. I was one of the kids she taught dance to and was always impressed with her energy and positive attitude. My thoughts of peace and comfort are for all of her family.

View More Posts ( # )