It was with shock and sadness that we learned of the deaths of Dick and Jane Yantis in February within just six days of each other.  Richard Perry Yantis was born in Columbus on July 1, 1932, to Samuel Perry Yantis and Mabel Martha Snook.  Dick was a direct descendant of William Yantis (1791-1872), one of the two co-founders of New Albany.  John Saveson was a descendant of a niece of Noble Landon, the other co-founder.  A pamphlet entitled The Founders of New Albany was jointly written by Richard Yantis and John Saveson and published by the New Albany-Plain Township Historical Society in 2003.  It is still in print.  Richard Yantis made another very valuable contribution to our Society by searching out the genealogies of all of the old families of New Albany and Plain Township.  These are expertly organized in a paper notebook and also on the computer.  Thanks to him, our Society is now much better informed about our local history.


Emma Jane McAllister Yantis was born in Eldorado, Maryland, on March 28, 1931, to John Joseph McAllister and Martha Mae Parsons.  A graduate of the University of Maryland, she too was a genealogist, working on the history of her own family in Maryland.  She and Dick met on a double date (not with each other) and married a year later, in 1959.  Meanwhile, Dick had graduated “With Distinction” from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and started a 20-year military career in Europe, North Africa, and, during the Vietnam War, in southeast Asia.  Eventually after earning both a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D., he became a mathematics professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.  After retiring from the Air Force as a Lt. Col. in 1974, he returned to Westerville and became a Professor of Mathematics at Otterbein University.


Jane and he raised two sons and Jane became busy in many organizations in Westerville, including the Otterbein Women’s Club and the Hanby House.  She and Dick were members of several historical societies (including ours) and shared a keen interest in searching through old burying grounds, studying and recording the histories of more than 100,000 people in Ohio and Maryland (not just their own families).  Their work will be a lasting gift to descendants, students, and historians.


Richard and Jane Yantis are survived by their sons, John Perry (Diane) Yantis of Westerville and Jim (Kari) Yantis and granddaughters Emalyn and Anne of Atlanta, Georgia; and by Dick’s brother, Don (Donna) Yantis of Ocoee, Florida.


— Marilyn Saveson