John Clayton Yost
John Clayton Yost, of Austin and Galveston, Texas, and Aspen, Colorado, passed away on March 28, 2018 surrounded by his children and sister after a brief battle with cancer.
Born July 22, 1943 to Katherine Andrews Yost and Francis Randolph Yost, he attended St. John’s School, The Lawrenceville School, Washington & Lee University, and Harvard Business School.
John worked in early Houston years building apartments, went on to build a restaurant chain in Houston, Austin, and College Station with close friend Randall Jones, and worked later in the custom flooring business with his brother. He served on the board of Wichita-Joplin Coca Cola Bottling Co. for 12 years until it was sold to the parent company in 1995.
He was a world traveler, working his way around the world for 11 months at the age of 20, and published a diary of the trip, The World Is a Nice Place to Visit. His travels continued until his demise.
John was a deeply devoted father and husband, inventor, and writer. He often said that his greatest accomplishments were his three adored children: Clayton, Carson, and Samantha.
Eighty pages into penning Ruin in the Jungle, the world will not see the completion of this work about the Mayan civilization, cut short by his death. His opus, Randolph, will also remain unfinished.
He invented the radio-controlled Blue Crab and Maine Lobster with which he regaled his kids and hundreds on the beach at his favorite second home, Galveston Island. His other popular invention, the “Tote and Latch Gazebo”, needs mention here also. Not to mention the “Banana Keeper” for bananas and the “Window Propper” for old houses.
John mastered furniture building and ceramics at Anderson Ranch Art Center near Aspen, Colorado, his beloved second, second home. He did not master the art of radio-controlled model airplanes. Along with son Carson, they fondly remembered the spectacular crashes of many of his hand-crafted models. Nor did he master the hobby of stamp collecting. His zeal for his collection dwindled when he paid the record price for the 1930 set of three Graf Zeppelin Air Mails just months before their price collapsed.
For 11 years, he worked with the Aspen district of White River National Forest as a volunteer forest ranger administering CPR and First Aid to those in need on the hiking trails in the mountains.
Avid hunter, yet gentle, loving protector of animals and chipmunks.
He cherished his many friends, his sister Sally and quirky brother, Randy, and his ex-wife, Mary Ralph. He mastered offshore sailing, flew gliders and single engine airplanes, hunted and fished, crabbed, and enjoyed cooking gourmet meals, gardening, skiing, scuba diving, and piddling. He was a member of the Sigma Society, Cadaver, former member of Houston Yacht Club, River Oaks Country Club, Lyford Cay Club, and Cardwell Hunt Club in Batesville, Texas.
He occasionally remarked of a life measured not by coffee spoons, but by his faithful dogs: Sausage, Sancho Panza, Rommel, Bennie, Dylan, Sam, and Winifred Scarlet the cat.
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