Business & Professional
Gerald "Jerry" Yeoman
Gerald “Jerry” Yeoman was a rare person. He not only came up with ideas, but he helped put the ideas into action. And while he often took leadership roles in he community, he did so without drawing attention to himself. He shunned the limelight, but his legacy still shines across Huntington County. It is a place, in many ways, he helped shape.
Jerry Yeoman was born in Lisbon, N.D., in 1917. He graduated from high school in 1934, and attended the General Motors Institute in Flint, Mich. from 1940-42. In August of 1942, he joined the Navy and served in World War II.
After leaving the Navy, Yeoman married Jeanne Kindler in 1950, and three children followed. The family settled in Huntington, where Jerry began working for Model Engineering and Manufacturing Company, later known as Memcor.
Yeoman decided to start his own business in 1959, starting Yeoman Engineering in the garage of his home on North LaFontaine Street. The company grew out of the garage, doing sophisticated tool-and-die work and producing precision industrial molds. It became an innovator in the field and well-respected across the country.
Few aspects of life in Huntington County were not touched somehow by Jerry Yeoman. He was active in United Way campaigns and was general chairman in 1969. He made sure his company set the example for the rest of the community, as Yeoman Engineering had 100 percent United Way participation from its employees for many years.
Yeoman was passionate about the county’s economic development. He was a co-founder and treasurer of Lime City Economic Development Commission and was instrumental in the development of Riverforks Industrial Park.
He served in Huntington County Medical Memorial Foundation leadership and was recognized for his years of service in 1983. He was very active in the Elk’s Club throughout his life, and was named Elk of the Year in 1985.
Yeoman continued to help those who needed some extra assistance. He was involved in the creation of Pathfinder Service and the LaFontaine Center. He also gave time to the youth of the community as he was an integral figure in PAL and Huntington County Baseball.
Yeoman’s friends knew his gruff exterior belied a soft and caring heart. In just one of many behind-the-scenes moments, Yeoman heard about a youth league coach wanting to take his players to see a major league baseball game. The coach tried to raise the money, but could not find enough sponsors. Yeoman quietly wrote a check to cover the team’s entire trip, giving the youngsters a once-in-a-lifetime experience they could probably not afford on their own.
The community respected Yeoman’s desire to avoid attention, but Huntington still celebrated one of its finest citizens. Humbly, he received several lifetime achievement honors, including the Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe in 1979 and the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce President's Award in 1984.
Yeoman died in 1985 at the age of 68.