Raymond Lee Yarnell, 82, passed away July 6, 2021, at Community Springs Healthcare Facility in El Dorado Springs, Missouri. Ray Lee was born in El Dorado Springs April 13, 1939, to T. Raymond Yarnell and Louise Faye (Breeding) Yarnell. He graduated from El Dorado Springs High School in 1957. Having enlisted in the United States Air Force in February during his senior year, he reported for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas on June 6, 1957. He proudly served his country for 21 years as an aircraft propulsion superintendent and an aircraft engine mechanic.
Following basic training he was stationed in California where he was awarded The Soldiers Medal for heroism on Dec. 16, 1958, for saving a personís life. During that time he married his high school sweetheart, Norma Jean Decker and began his family.
In addition to numerous stateside assignments, Ray Lee served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. While there he received The Air Force Commendation Medal on September 26, 1957, for meritorious service with Detachment 5, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. Among other things his citation stated that Sergeant Raymond Yarnellís outstanding professional skill and initiative played a significant role in contributing to the success of the United States Air Force mission in Southeast Asia. He retired as a Master Sergeant on Jan. 24, 1978, at Cannon AFB in Clovis, NM.
After his retirement he worked in Clovis, NM for Hoffman Aircraft. He specialized in Gazelle Helicopters for which he was sent to Israel. He also repaired various aircraft. He then worked for Lockheed Martin at various Air Force Bases around the country. Ray received his BS degree in finance and computer science from Eastern New Mexico University.
In 1994 he returned to Missouri where he and his wife Toni owned and operated a convenience store and gas station in Cedar Creek. In 2008 he fully retired and moved back home to El Dorado Springs.
He is preceded in death by parents T. Raymond Yarnell and Louise Faye (Breeding) Yarnell; grandchildren Nathan Perry Allison and Khara Rachelle Allison Julian; first wife Norma Jean Decker Taylor.
His amazing life will be forever cherished by his family. He is survived by his wife Kuei C. (Toni) Peng Yarnell; daughters Pamela Jean Yarnell Forest of El Dorado Springs, MO, Sandi Rae Yarnell Bouchard of San Antonio, TX, Cheri Kaye Yarnell Allison (Greg) of El Dorado Springs, MO, Terri Lynne Yarnell Carver (Shane) of Monte Vista, CO; Son Boie Lee Yarnell (Robyn) of Lakeland, FL; sister Lola Faye Yarnell Westenhaver (Glen Hollyman) of Quincy, IL; brother James Allen Yarnell (Suzie) of Clinton, MO; 12 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews; second wife Sutin Finch of Traverse City, MI. mother of his son Boie.