WESSINGTON SPRINGS — Willie Yost, 78, of Wessington Springs, took his last lap Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at Westkota Memorial.
A private ceremony and internment will be held. A memorial ceremony will be scheduled for next spring.
Willie was born October 24, 1941, in Miller, to Charles and Hazel (Campbell) Yost.
Willie was raised on a farm in south Hand county, the sixth of seven children. He left home at 18 to pursue work in construction.
January 14, 1961, Willie was married to Iona Grabin in Wessington Springs and they made their home in south Hand county, farming and ranching and raising their two daughters until their move to Wessington Springs in 1994. After the move, Willie began working for Darrell’s Rock Sand and Gravel, driving truck and running the crushing division until he retired.
Retirement didn’t suit Willie, so he partnered with Eldon Eggleston to build and operate their own trucking company, Dakota Trucking, Inc., that operated until 2017.
Auto racing was Willie’s passion. He built his first car in 1961, and continued to race for numerous people over the next two decades with great success. He drove open wheeled modifieds and super stocks with a fearlessness and talent rarely seen. Willie raced on nearly every track in South Dakota and in neighboring states as well as pitting for Ed Negre the summer of 1967, on the southern NASCAR tracks while he was stationed in the Army.
Willie’s racing career gained him as many friends as trophies and those friends and races were often the highlights of his more colorful stories. Willie was a Motor Pool Sargent in the US Army after being drafted in 1966. Over the next couple years he was stationed in Louisiana, Texas, Georgia, and Germany.
Willie was known for his candor and stories. He had the ability to entertain without effort. He was also a great listener which made him a confidant and mentor to many. Willie was larger than life, a dedicated husband and father, a caring friend, and a loving grandfather. His friends and his family were a great source of pride and he will be dearly missed.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Alzheimer’s Association or Alzheimer’s Foundation to help in research and care for those afflicted.
Willie is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Iona; two daughters, Lynn Marie (Mike) Krauss, Rebecca Ann (Chad) Roob; his grandchildren, Anna and Caden Roob; sisters-in-law, Norma Yost and Kathy Yost; also in-laws, Jeanette Grabin and Tracey Hern, June and Dean Geiman, Della Abraham, Joy and Verlyn Eilertson, Gene and Carol Grabin; many nieces and nephews; and his very special little dog, Timmy.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Edwin, Wesley, and Chuck Yost; his sisters, Charlotte Pope, Patricia Waters, Ardessa Moser; in-laws, Leta Yost, Ken Pope, Dale Waters, Richard Moser; and nephews, Terry Yost, Dennis Yost, Victor Waters, and Ryan Yost.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”