Rest in Peace, John Yu; longtime 10pm Mass participant has passed away
JOHN F. YU
YU, CHIEF JOHN F. – age 56 of Knoxville, longtime community volunteer leader and Rescue Squad Assistant Chief, native of Beltsville, Maryland, passed away at his home suddenly May 26, 2012. The cause of his death has not been confirmed although Yu suffered from diabetes and in recent years had a pacemaker for a heart ailment. Blount County Rescue Squad (BCRS) Chief Keith Sartin said, “Certainly everyone within our agency and the community are devastated. John was an integral part of the rescue community not only within our agency, but among other agencies in Knoxville and throughout the region. We’ve lost a trusted partner and a friend. This is going to be a struggle for all of us.” A native of Beltsville, MD, where he attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Yu was an accomplished pianist and swimmer in his youth. When he moved to Tennessee, he became active in many volunteer leadership positions, always giving back to community. He later served on the leadership team with BCRS since 2006, most recently serving as assistant chief since 2010. “John can best be described as a rescuer’s rescuer, a chief’s chief, a person that has touched more lives and had a positive impact on more people than could ever be counted. He is an icon in the rescue world, known for his expertise in vehicle rescue, water rescue, and special operations,” said BCRS Deputy Chief Ed Wolff. “He will be missed but never forgotten. I am honored to call him a friend.” Long recognized for his tireless volunteerism, Yu was tapped for the prestigious honor of carrying the torch in Tennessee for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Games. Yu was also a 29-year volunteer member of the Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad, Inc. and served as Chief in 1992 – 1993 and again in 2003 – 2005. He also served as a past member of the Board of Directors and Water Rescue Team Captain. He was instrumental in the development of the KVERS Support Team and swift water response capabilities. Knoxville Volunteer Emergency Rescue Squad Chief Bob Swabe said, “John was a longtime friend and member of the Knoxville Rescue Squad. He was a dedicated and tireless worker in the Rescue Squad community, and spent many hours training and sharing his expertise of rescue techniques with other responders; not only to the Knoxville Rescue Squad, but to emergency responders throughout the region. When help was needed, it was common for John to be first on the scene and the last to leave.” Chief Swabe continued, “John touched many lives throughout the region and his passing will be missed by all that knew him. The Rescue Squad community has lost a true volunteer.” John was an active board member, director, instructor/trainer and mentor for the Knox County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was also the lead medical supervisor and one of the founding program creators for the First Aid Station Program at Neyland Stadium, supporting the University of Tennessee and the Volunteers. He was a life member of both the Alabama and Virginia Tech Association of Rescue Squads and was recognized by United Way of America in their poster engagement campaign. A 1977 graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA., where he received a B.S. in electrical engineering, Yu worked at Hewlett-Packard from 1985 to 1992 before becoming president of Technical Staffing, a Cobble Staffing Company. At the time of his passing he was senior vice president of operations at TalentSphere, LLC, where he helped develop the Talent Harvester and Innovation Harvester solutions for staffing and recruitment needs. He also was responsible for account management and support for the company’s Fortune 500 clients, working closely with the information technology team in the development, deployment and support of TalentSphere’s web-based solutions inclusive of the facilities operational infrastructure. Prior, he was on the staff of Digital Discoveries. Yu leaves a son, Wesley, 20, of Johnson City, Tennessee; his parents, Michael and Maria Yu of Highland, Maryland; an older brother James V. Yu of Avon, Connecticut; three sisters Pattie Yu of Potomac, Maryland; Bernadette Yu Kaiser of Highland, Maryland; and Angelita Crowley of Abingdon, Maryland; and his faithful dog Zoe. He joins his brother, Gerard V. Yu, who passed away six years ago, in life everlasting. A Funeral Mass will be 10:30 A.M. Friday at All Saints Catholic Church. Interment to follow with a fly over, and honor guards presence recognizing his impact on the community. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy should be made to any of John’s three passions in life: Blount County Rescue Squad P.O. Box 218 Alcoa Tennessee 37701; Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad 512 N. Chilhowee Drive Knoxville, Tennessee 37924; East Tennessee Regional Chapter American Red Cross 6921 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, Tennessee 37909. The family will receive friends 4:00-8:00 P.M. Thursday with a Rosary service at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.