This is not the life story that Phillip Yelkin’s family wanted to share. They had hope, more than 20 times, that treatment would help the man who was their son, brother, uncle and true love finally get on a path that led to happy ending.
It was not to be.
Instead, they told the true story, starting with the most recent painful fact that Phillip Yelkin was found dead by the sheriff’s department at the age of 44. Also included in the story are the list of people who loved him despite it all, and can only take comfort in the fact in that he is now at peace.
They shared his story so others would know the truth of it, see the warning in it, and find compassion for others struggling with similar stories. Perhaps those who read it can help Yelkin’s story have a bit more of a meaningful ending.
Phillip was found dead at his home in Britton by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department on May 17, 2013.
Phillip was born on July 9, 1968, in Alameda, CA. He was adopted from the hospital by Bernerd and Janice Yelkin of Oakland, CA. Phillip moved often during his childhood because his father was in the military. Some of the major places where he lived were Oakland, CA; Treasure Island, CA; Auburn, CA; Pearl Harbor, HI; Canberra, Australia; San Diego, CA; Fort Wayne, IN; and Britton, SD.
He belonged to the San Diego Boys Choir and often sang alone and in groups at church. He had the voice of an angel.
After moving to Ft. Wayne, IN, in 1983 he dropped out of church. It was at this time, at age 15, Phillip began a life struggle with alcohol and marijuana and the resulting legal problems. Although Phillip was in treatment 20+ times, he was unable to stay alcohol and drug free. He hoped the demons would stay away, but they never did.
In Indiana, Phillip became a certified auto body and paint man. In his spare time in Ft. Wayne, he painted race cars. He was a fan of NASCAR. His favorite driver was Dale Earnhardt. He loved nothing more than watching a race, or listening to music or talking to his dad, Bernerd, or painting a vehicle. He also enjoyed cooking for others. When sober, he made friends easily but when drinking his disagreeable disposition made him difficult for anyone to like or to be around.
He leaves behind his parents, Bernerd and Janice Yelkin; two brothers, Matthew (Jackie), Mosinee, WI, and Andrew (Kim), Mosinee, WI; nieces and nephews, Austin and Jessica Yelkin, Greencove Springs, FL, and Abby and Aidan Yelkin, Mosinee, WI; and Mary O’Grady, the love of his life, Ft. Wayne, IN. He will be entombed at Britton City Cemetery at a later date. There will be no services.
The purpose of this obituary was to let others know what a struggle Phillip endured. Through genealogy research, it was learned Phillip inherited his alcohol and drug propensity from his birth-father’s family. He followed in his natural father and grandfather’s footsteps. All suffered as much or more. He was also bi-polar. He could not afford mental health care or medication for this. He was loved in spite of all his short comings. He is now in peace.
The next drunk you meet remember, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
Submitted by Family