Fred Yazel Obituary

Fred R. Yazel
Fred Yazel
Fred R. Yazel

May 31, 1934 - March 19, 2019
Born in Rock Hill, SC
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Frederick Revere Yazel, 84, passed away March 19, 2019. Fred was born on May 31, 1934, in Rock Hill, South Carolina and loved to share funny stories of his boyhood near a cotton mill there. He attended what was then North Greenville Junior College and graduated from Furman University. While in the U.S. Army, he was slated to be stationed in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of his beloved Cardinals, but he swapped assignments with a friend who had a fiancée in St. Louis and instead arrived in Des Moines, where he joined the First Baptist Church. He met his wife of 54 years, Bonnie (Hulshizer), there. Fred taught in the Des Moines Public Schools for 33 years. His years teaching English as a Second Language to newly arrived immigrant children from Bosnia, the Sudan, and elsewhere, were some of his favorites. He arranged field trips to give students the knowledge to help their immigrant parents navigate practical matters like car maintenance and home buying. He also enjoyed working at Woodlawn Elementary, where he taught government and held mock elections with students and was known for his practical jokes.

In 1965, Fred took a job as a principal at a school in American Samoa for four years. He moved there with Bonnie and daughter Gwen and his son, David, was born there. After returning, he received his Master’s Degree in Elementary Administration from the University of Iowa.

In addition to family vacations to more than 30 U.S. states—most of them in a Starcraft pop-up camper—Fred also traveled to Australia, Japan, China, and various countries in Europe. He and Bonnie were decades-long supporters of the Des Moines Community Playhouse.

Fred is survived by his wife, Bonnie Yazel; daughters, Gwen McClintic (Paul McClintic) and Leslie Yazel (Jeremy Egner); son, David Yazel (Kathy Yazel) ; grandchildren, Tabitha Hockel, Jake Yazel and Jemma Egner. Fred was preceded in death by his mother, Loretta (Hunter) Yazel; father, William J. Yazel and his siblings, Jack Yazel, Kathleen (Yazel) Brazzell, and Jean (Yazel) Long.

Visitation will be held from 4-6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 24, 2019 at Iles Westover Chapel. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 25 at the funeral home. Interment at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery will follow at 12:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Des Moines Community Playhouse. Online condolences are welcome at






Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Sunday, March 24, 2019
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, March 25, 2019
11:00 AM
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
34024 Veterans Memorial Drive
Adel, IA US 50003
Monday, March 25, 2019
12:30 PM


Des Moines Community Playhouse
831 - 42nd Sreet
Des Moines, Iowa 50312