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William John Yunikar
November 28, 1931 ~ January 17, 2019 (age 87)
Flowers & Gifts
William John “Bill“ Yunikar passed away January 17, 2019. He was born to Yugoslavian immigrants Ignatz and Franceska Petric Yunikar in Salida on November 28, 1931. He was next to the youngest of 19 children.
Bill began caring for his family in 1945 after the death of his father. He and his mother raised chickens and sold milk to sustain the family and the ranch. He had special permission from the state patrol to drive the products to the train station in Salida since he was underage. The families’ original homestead house still stands at Kings Crossing, and his Father donated the land for the Browns Creek school across the highway. His father also brought down the original lodgepole pine that the American flag hung from at the school.
They later moved to Adobe Park where he has lived since 1942. He attended the Adobe Park school and his neighbor Mrs. Merle Brown was his teacher. He attended school through sixth grade. He began ranching at the age of 14 and began leasing other ranches by the time he was 15. He ranched in Chaffee, Park, Saguache, and Gunnison counties. He ran sheep and then branched out into cattle. He met Sharon Sue Patrick of Buena Vista in 1959. They were married in Buena Vista on January 15, 1960, working together on the family business every day since. He managed the Missouri park ditch for 60 years.
Bill was still sharp minded and could keep us laughing with the stories of ranching, friends, and growing up in Chaffee County. He continued to be out working until a week before his falling asleep.
Bill is survived by his wife Sharon, daughter Audrey (Sam) Marso of Grand Junction and son William of Salida. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Joseph, Thomas, Ava, and Max Marso. He is also survived by two sisters as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 16 siblings, and his very special daughter-in-law, Karen Kaess-Yunikar.
Services will be at Friday, January 25, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Fairview Cemetery.
There will be a memorial for Bill at Adobe Park Arena this spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be offered in Bill's honor to Heart of the Rockies Home Health and Hospice or Sunset Home through Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home. Arrangements were with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida.