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895 Route 82
P.O. Box A
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Phone: 845-221-2000
Fax: 845-227-1862
Joseph Yellen Joseph Yellen Joseph Yellen Joseph Yellen Joseph Yellen
In Memory of
Joseph Arthur
Yellen Sr.
1925 - 2018
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McHoul Funeral Home, Inc.
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Obituary for Joseph Arthur Yellen Sr.

Joseph Arthur  Yellen Sr.
Joseph Arthur Yellen of 110 Jackson Street Fishkill died peacefully in his home on the morning of Sunday March 18th at the age of 93.

Early Life and Service in the U.S. Armed Forces

Joseph was born on February 23rd 1925 in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York, the oldest child of Joseph Yellen senior and Alice Shapiro Yellen. He attended grade school in Kew Gardens and Jamaica High School in Queens.

Mr. Yellen left high school in 1940 at the age of 15 to work full time in support of the war effort at West Side Iron Works in Manhattan, a steel fabrication business owned and managed by his family. West Side’s business was growing quickly with the swell of government contracts for shipping merchandise to the U.K. in aid of the war effort.

At the height of U.S. war support activity under the Lend-Lease Act, the company was able to dramatically increase transport ship payloads through development of a proprietary technique for welding fighter planes to the ship decks. The federal government’s demand for the services of West Side Iron Works was so great the company grew to some 5,000 employees during the war years. Joe frequently worked 70 to 80 hours a week or more and at the age of 17 in 1942, he had only four days off in the entire year.

Mr. Yellen enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943, and completed Navy boot camp in Norfolk, Virginia. He was then seconded to the Construction Battalion (“Seabees”) division of the Navy and shipped out for active duty in the Pacific theatre of WWII.

First stationed at the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, he spent several months on Seabee construction projects at various sites on the island of Oahu. Following the tide of the Navy’s steady advance westward across the Pacific, Mr. Yellen subsequently was transported to naval bases on Midway and in the Mariana Islands.

Subsequent to VJ-day in August 1945, he was returned to Pearl Harbor and from there to Boston, Massachusetts where he received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Navy in March 1946.

Mr. Yellen returned to New York and initially went to work at West Side Iron Works. With the prolonged illness and convalescence of his father on family property in Dutchess County, he left Queens and relocated to Fishkill, New York.

Dutchess County Years

Mr. Yellen married high school sweetheart Jennie Winberg on March 24th, 1946. The couple took up residence on Jackson Street in Fishkill. Daughter June Yellen was born in 1950, followed by daughter Joanne Yellen in 1955 and son Joseph Yellen in 1957.

Following stints working in commercial farming and home construction, in 1958 Mr. Yellen established Yellen Welding, successor firm to West Side Iron Works. Based on Orchard Lane in Hopewell Junction New York, Yellen Welding grew to be the pre-eminent steel fabrication business in Southern Dutchess County during the 1970’s and 1980’s. The firm completed numerous large projects at the IBM manufacturing facilities in Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill, Nabisco in Beacon, the VA hospital at Castle Point, the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, Green Haven prison, and others.

Yellen was an active member of the local volunteer fire departments throughout his working years in Dutchess County, first as a long standing member of Protection Engine and later as a founding member of the Rombout Fire Department, both in Fishkill.

An accomplished sailor, hunter, and fisherman, Mr. Yellen earned his Master Captain license from the United States Coast Guard in 1968 and owned a succession of fishing boats and yachts which he enjoyed piloting back and forth between Connecticut and Florida. He was also a long term member of the East Hook Sportsman Association in Fishkill.

Mr. Yellen was an active member and enthusiastic supporter of St. Mary’s Church in Fishkill through the entire 70 year period of his Dutchess County residency.

The relatively early death of close family members was a tragic ongoing aspect of Yellen’s private life. His father Joseph Yellen senior, his wife Jennie Yellen, younger sister Patricia Hellman, younger brother Donald Yellen, eldest child June Yellen, and second child Joanne Yellen all predeceased him, each dying at the age of 57.

Following the death of his first wife Jennie in 1988, Mr. Yellen remarried in 1992 to Rosario Licari, a fellow parishioner at St. Mary’s Church in Fishkill. Joe and Roz shared 24 years of marriage until Roz’s death in 2016.

Yellen was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in August 2017. Despite the entreaties of his physicians to check in to a hospital, he chose very deliberately to spend his remaining time at his home at 110 Jackson Street in Fishkill, where he lived with his son Joseph Yellen Jr.

Yellen spent the final three months of his life confined to his bed, cared for by his son, hospice workers, and a number of close friends and relatives. He died peacefully in his sleep during the early morning hours of Sunday, March 18th.

Joseph Yellen is survived by his son Joseph Yellen Jr. of Fishkill, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

“Never feel sorry for me,” Yellen said to friends and family caring for him during his final days. “I’ve had a better life than anyone could ever hope for.”

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