Dr. Dean Yarwood, 85, a longtime member of the Columbia community, passed away June 15, 2020, at the home of Keith and Debra Yarwood of Kansas City, Missouri, surrounded by family.
Dean was born March 17, 1935, in Decorah, Iowa, the son of Harold and Elsie (Roney) Yarwood. He grew up and attended the Decorah Public Schools. He met Elaine Bender, the love of his life, while attending Decorah High School. They married Sept. 2, 1956, and started a 63-year journey.
Dean is most remembered for his dedication to family and love of knowledge. Through support from the Bradish Memorial Scholarship Fund, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Iowa. He later received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and pursued a Master of Arts at Cornell University and a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois.
Dean’s career included faculty positions at Coe College, the University of Kentucky and MU. Before retirement, he founded the Dean L. Yarwood Scholarship for graduate and undergraduate political science students with emphasis in public policy and administration or American politics.
During his 33 years at MU, Dean taught public administration in the Political Science Department, served two rotations as department chair, was the Frederick A. Middlebush Professor in Political Science from 1992 to 1995 and an active member of several political science associations. Additionally, he authored numerous articles and was editor of The National Administrative System, and Public Administration, Politics, and the People; and author of “When Congress Makes a Joke.”
In addition to working, Dean, with wife Elaine, actively kept up with the scholastic and extracurricular activities of their five children. All five fondly recognize his tireless efforts to help develop their unique interests and will miss his wisdom and guidance. Dean was active in St. Andrew Lutheran Church, volunteered at the Missouri Alumni Association and became a loving grandfather to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In retirement he enjoyed entertaining family and friends, dancing, genealogy, political research and travel. Family and friends remember his sense of humor, generosity and lively debates regarding current and historical politics.
Dean is survived by his children, Lucinda Snider (David), Kent Yarwood (Clara), Keith Yarwood (Debra), Douglas Yarwood (Dani) and Dennis Yarwood (Elba); grandchildren, Rebecca Neill (Ryan), Paul Yarwood (Tara), Abigail Snider, Allan Yarwood and Carl Yarwood; great-grandchildren, Olivia Neill and Jack Yarwood; brother Curt Yarwood (Phyllis); sister-in-law Carol Blegen (Donald); and a host of other relatives and friends including Clara’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by wife Elaine on April 1, 2020; parents Harold and Elsie Yarwood; brother Charles Yarwood; sisters LaVerne Johnson, Arla Neshiem and Arlene Fadness; and in-laws Virgil and Lucella Bender.
Burial in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, Iowa, is Friday, June 19, 2020, at 3:30 pm. A virtual memorial is planned for a later date.
Memorials include the Dean L. Yarwood Political Science Scholarship, College of Arts and Science Development, 110 Lowry Hall, Columbia, MO 65211; St. John’s Lutheran Church, 1638 Big Canoe Road, Decorah, Iowa 52101; or The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, 2101 Vandiver Drive, Columbia, MO 65202.