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Edwin Richard Yeager, 91, passed away Friday, December 21, 2018, in his home moments after his daughters Alison B. Hinrichs and Leslie L. Giardiello, along with their husbands, Robert C. Hinrichs and Joseph F. Giardiello, had said their goodbyes. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Margaret J. (Jarvis) Yeager.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Frank J. and Carrie (Koch) Yeager. Ed graduated from Reading High School in 1944 and Penn State University in 1949 with a degree in industrial engineering. He was also a corporal in the United States Army.
“Big Ed” was well-known in the wholesale industrial supply PVF industry for more than 70 years, first working at Reading Heater and Supply. In April 1967 at the age of 40, he decided to start his own company, Yeager Supply, with his wife, Margaret. Yeager Supply went from one location, one small pick-up truck (belonging to his first employee Robert “Bobby” Hartman), and seven employees to three locations, 18 trucks on the road daily, and over 100 employees. Honesty, integrity, and great service was, and still is, how the company operates. Ed was still working and involved daily, as the founder, until his death.
Humble, yet larger than life, it seemed when Ed walked in a room with his fedora hat (which he would stomp on to show how well made it was) and brown tinted aviators (which he always took great care of and was proud to say were 40 years old) a presence was felt by all. He was a simple man, and therefore his clothes were all brown or tan “because, then everything matches!" It seemed like everyone would want to talk to Ed, and he always was knowledgeable on any topic. He was a loving and caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and that was his life besides Yeager Supply. No golf, no cards with the boys, or watching a game on TV. Work and family were his whole life.
“Big Ed” was silly with his grandchildren, and they and the rest of his family will forever cherish the "Kodak moments" he created with chickens on his head, Babushkas tied around his chin, and dancing down any stairs or hallway like Fred Astaire. He was extremely excited that he would be a great-grandfather again in early 2019. Ed's family knows he will be looking down and creating another “Kodak moment” for his soon-to-be great-grandson.
On the day before he passed, Ed was fortunate that he had some of his family reading the wonderful holiday "thank you" cards from all of his employees who he referred to as “his second family." This brought him comfort knowing how much he was loved not just by his family by blood, but also over 100 employees who have come to know and love him as well.
Ed's family views him as having lived his life as a gentleman and a man of his word. His family knows he is looking down at all of them saying, “Everything is copacetic." In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his brother William (“Wild Bill”) Yeager and sister, Virginia (Yeager) Camarotta. He is survived by his daughters Alison B. Hinrichs, wife of Robert C., Leslie L. Giardiello, wife of Joseph F., his grandson Bradley Edwin Giardiello, husband of Karen Marcus Giardiello, granddaughter, Lauren Margaret Bieniosek, wife of Theodore A., James Robert Hinrichs, Cynthia Lynne Moran, wife of Joseph and two great-grandchildren Belinda and Joseph. Also, his devoted “lady friend” for the past 5 years, Annabelle Stegman.
A Celebration of Life Tribute Service will be held at Bean Funeral Home, 129 E. Lancaster Ave., Shillington, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at 10 a.m., with Celebrant Amy S. Landis officiating. The family will receive friends and relatives at the funeral home on Friday, December 28, 2018, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, December 29, 2018, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. A private entombment will follow the service at Gethsemane Cemetery and Mausoleum.
Ed was a charitable man, and did so mostly anonymously to: Vision Resource Center of Berks County, 2020 Hampden Blvd., Reading, Pennsylvania 19604; Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading, 1161 Pershing Blvd., Reading, Pennsylvania 19611; and Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology (Plumbing Dept.), 750 E. King St., Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602. In lieu of flowers, please donate to any of the above in memory of Edwin R. Yeager.