Karen S. Yoast

Yoast Karen

Karen S. Yoast, age 66 of Goodyear, AZ died April 3, 2019, in Goodyear, AZ, after a 3-year struggle with ALS. She was born December 19, 1952, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, the youngest of four children born to Aaron and Ione Deneley. Outgoing and friendly, it was impossible to be around Karen without becoming her friend. She had a wicked sense of humor and she loved to keep everyone in stitches. She grew up in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and later moved to Orem, UT where she lived for 35 years. A hard-working woman, she worked for the Utah Department of Transportation for 30 years, starting out driving a snow plow and working on paint crews, and later as office manager and contract administrator on large construction projects. Her excellent work habit earned her the honor of the Utah Department of Transportation Employee of the Year in 2017. She left many good friends in the department when she moved to AZ to be with her sister.

Karen could do anything! From baking to fixing plumbing problems, there were no limits to her expertise. She loved to cross stitch, do needlework, write poetry, work crossword and sudoku puzzles, and read. She adored her parrot, Graham and beagle, Gillette and watching animals in the wild.

Karen is survived by her son, Justin Yoast and daughter-in-law Jacquelyn of North Myrtle Beach, SC; sister, Diane Burns and brother-in-law, retired Brig. Gen. Pat Burns; and three grandchildren, Dallas, Garrison, and Savannah. She was preceded in death by her parents, Aaron and Ione Deneley.

35 Comments on “Karen S. Yoast

    • Justin I’m soo sorry to hear about ma Karen. I’m sooo sad and I am always gonna consider y’all my family! I love ya! You can reach out to me anytime my FRIEND!

    • I am sorry to hear about Karen. Thinking of you at this time. I can’t help but think about all the fun we had as kids!!

  1. So very sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. Life seems so unfair to lose someone so dear to you. The Bible provides true comfort for grieving family. Revelation 21:4; tells us: “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.” May you find comfort in these words and your loving memories.

  2. So very sorry for your loss Justin ,Jacquie,and Savannah and family. She was a wonderful lady and Will truely be missed. She fought a tough battle. May you find comfort in knowing she is in Heaven and no longer suffering. Love and prayers to you all.

    • I have lost a TRUE, TRUE friend. May the spirit and comfort of GOD be with you at this time. I will always remember that beautiful, genuine, caring smile.

  3. We have such fond memories of Karen. We went through so much together. Our friendship goes back 37 years. We love her and were so happy to meet again at UDOT. Her smile was contagious and her quick wit kept everyone laughing. She loved her family and spoke of them often. She told us often you can’t spoil a child by loving them. We are saddened to hear of her passing. Know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Karen was a true gem. We will miss her sense of humor and smile. We so enjoyed her friendship.

  5. Very few people have loved our family the way that Karen has. She has been a bonus grandma to my kids, and one of my very best friends. Living next to her for nearly a decade made for years of laughs and memories.

    We miss you daily, Karen, and will keep you in our hearts forever. Our only consolation is knowing that you never got stuck under your house trying to change the air filter.

    Thanks for remembering EVERY birthday for all eight of us, and always pretending that the Mother’s Day flowers left in our mailbox weren’t from you. I truly hope that you and Acel have found each other in heaven. I’m sad I won’t get to see that reunion! 😂

    Love you forever, dear friend.

  6. I couldn’t have hand-picked a better mother-in-law! I miss you so much Karen. I will hold all of our chats and memories close to my heart forever. Thank you for always loving us so much, and for being…just awesome.

    Karen would look a challenge dead in the eye, and give it a wink. It’s just how she lived her life, and it is inspiring. So many talents, so much kindness, humor and strength.

    Our hearts are full of love and pride for you. We will see you again in Heaven!

  7. Karen lived across the street from me in Orem. It has been over 20 years ago, and I have thought of her often. My Son was little back then and she was so cute with him. He would run across the street to see her, and she treated him so good. I loved visiting with Karen. Sending thoughts of love to her family and friends. Karen was such a loving caring neighbor, and I know she will be missed.

  8. Karen will be sorely missed by Mike and I. She was a wonderful friend, a great neighbor. Her funny comments about life and the neighborhood will be cherished memories.
    May God comfort you all in her family. She loved Justin and his family so much. And Dianne was her guardian angel. Mike and I feel so lucky to have had Karen in our lives.
    See you soon my friend!

  9. I am so sad to learn of Karen’s passing, my sincere condolences to the family. I got to know Karen working at Callies Café where she hung out with the boys. We were kindred spirits when it came to pranks and practical jokes, firecrackers, and many other things. I got her good when I saran wraped her car! R.I.P. Karen.

  10. Hey Justin,

    I have only a few memories of your mom, but all of those…man, she just loved you and you could feel it. I think it made some of us jealous as not all of us had that kind of relationship with our own moms. I’m really sorry to have read about her passing away.

    I have only the best of memories in our short time interacting in our Cherry Hill days. It’s been a long time, my friend, but I hope you’re doing ok.


    Matt Horton
    (Originally from Orem)

    • Thank you Matt! It was wonderful hearing from you. The Cherry Hill days were fun. It means a lot that you shared!

  11. To Karen’s family, I met Karen at Calvary Mountain View Church in American Fork ,Utah. Love that gal. Always so kind and happy. She has been and always will be a special person in my life. She certainly loved her Justin and Jackie and all her family. They were always number one. I am truly sorry to hear of her passing. Although she is asleep in death, her eternal home is awaiting her. May God’s face shine upon you and give you comfort at this time. Karen’s Sister in the Lord, Emily Yates ” Rest In Peace, Karen”

  12. Justin ,Jacquie,and Savannah. Please accept our deepest condolences. We’ve known your mom since she moved in across the street. Since then we’ve shared lots of coffee, an occasional beer and always a good laugh. When your mom moved here my dad was house boumd and your mom would somehow find the time to visit with him. She wouldn’t leave until dad was laughing or at least smiling . As years went by your mom did the same with the neighbor down the street.

    We loved your mom and will always cherish our friendship. I wish there was a way to ease your grief, I know there isn’t but just know that your mom was really good people and the world will miss her.

  13. To Karen’s friends and family – So sorry for your loss. I was one of Karen’s coworkers at UDOT before I retired in 2014. I’ll always remember Karen’s great sense of humor and sharp wit which I believe was her greatest asset, and which allowed her to get away with saying things that only she could get away with saying. Along with her no-nonsense approach to life you could never get the best of her which at times was a little intimidating, but behind it all was a caring and kind soul. I have some great and fond memories of working with Karen that I will always cherish and remember. And who could ever forget the stories that she told of her interactions with her beloved parrot Graham! Some of those stories had us all nearly rolling on the floor laughing! No one will ever be able to replace her and she will always live on in our hearts. She is a wonderful human being that I feel privileged to have known. It’s comforting to know that I will see her again on the other side and what a fun and joyous time that will be!

  14. Karen was such a good friend and part time employee at my little tavern. Always so willing to bring sunshine where ever she was. “Yoastie” will be missed by all. Please know our prayers are with each of you in this time of sorrow. She is irreplaceable and will not be forgotten. You were blessed to have her in your life. Hugs ! Kelly and Jean Hardman. The Stocker Club.

  15. Sorry for your loss. Actually the whole worlds loss. I loved Karen’s laughter wit and positive attitude. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  16. So sorry to hear of Karen’s passing. She was a good friend and UDOT associate and I thoroughly enjoyed working with her on many projects. She had such a sweet personality and always had a smile. Her jovial nature was such a welcome to be around. I will miss her.

  17. We’re so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing, she truly was a special person. We met her @ Callie’s yrs ago, I had the pleasure of doing her hair for a number of yrs & I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her. She was always so fun & sweet with Our 2 Son’s & 4-legged kids. The world has lost a sweet soul. RIP Karen you will be sorely missed.
    Jim & Kristy Ryder

  18. I was so sorry to hear of Karen’s passing.

    I remember meeting Karen as an intern when she was on a UDOT Paint Crew – painting at nights. She was hilarious and so fun to be around. Years later she was our crew’s office manager. We all knew who was really in charge. She was an exceptional worker and was very good at her job – named UDOT Employee of the Year and also earning the UDOT Career Achievement Award in 2017, just before she retired.

    She also took care of all of us as our “crew mom”. She would lighten any room with her personality, whit and humor – especially after graduating from “Charm School” (she had a diploma). She loved shoes with good “gription” – well – she just loved shoes. Her special nick names and sayings would have us in stitches. “Is it hot in here? Or am I just having my own personal summer?” – my personal favorite.

    Karen and my mom share the same birth date. When Karen was quitting smoking, my mom brought her a Costco sized bag of Wint-O-Green Lifesavers, and they became fast friends – calling each other on their birthday for many years after that.

    Karen will always hold a special place in my heart and I will remember her with fondness. The stories will live forever. She will never be forgotten.

  19. Diane and Patrick; Justin was very very young when I last interacted with her in Rock Springs. I’m very saddened to read about Karen’s passing. If there was something I could do to fill that void; I’d do it. If there was something I could say to remove the hurt; I’d say it. All I can do is ask you accept my condolences. God be with you.

    • Jim,
      It’s taken me awhile to get to answering these. It meant a lot to me that someone from home would remember her and take the time to send condolences. Thank you for your kindness, Diane (Deneley) Burns

  20. Diane and Patrick; Justin was very very young when I last saw Karen in Rock Springs. I’m very saddened to read about her passing. If there was something I could do to fill that void; I’d do it. If there was something I could say to remove the hurt; I’d say it. All I can do is ask you accept my condolences. God be with you.

  21. Diane, and Justin and family. Karen and I reconnected about 3 years ago. Our moms and Elsie Simkins were friends.
    I always received and wonderful Christmas card from Karen.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
    Susan Hochart Mondragon

  22. Justin, Paul worked with your mom at UDOT and they became very close friends. Paul talked about your mom and you a lot. I was able to get to know your mom and what a wonderful lady she was. Please know that our hearts and sadden and that we hope you will feel peace if your life knowing she is not suffering anymore and that she will always be with you in spirit. Her memories will make you smile for the rest of your life. She touched our lives so thank you for sharing her with us.

  23. I worked with Karen two summers on the paint crew. She was a terrific individual, and will be missed by all that new her. I was proud to call her my friend.

  24. This is a hard thing to do. Put your thoughts into words after losing such a dear friend. I first ‘heard’ about Karen when a co worker in the Salt Lake UDOT office told me I needed to meet Karen that she was “larger than life” when I was transferring to the Orem office. You don’t really meet Karen, she just kind of butts her way into your life and yes, she was larger than life. She had this quick wit, a great sense of humor, a big smile and a laugh that you could hear from a distance. I met her my 2nd day at the Orem office when she saw a stranger and came up to find out who I was and it was an instant friendship. We would meet after work for supper to along with my then 7 year old son who she adored. His name is Owen but she called her buddy ‘O’ for short. The two of them would get engrossed in an Angry Birds video game and it was like I wasn’t even there. The joke became that the two of them were out to eat and I was the chaperone. Once we were planning our evening out for supper with Owen when our then Director who had known Karen his entire career overheard us and teased me about what kind of Mother was I for allowing “that woman” around my son She laughed her infectious, happy laugh and declared that “a hoot”. Anything funny causing her to laugh or was a funny adventure she declared “a hoot!” We had great conversations and lots of laughs and many times that were declared “a hoot” . Even though I am a native Alabamian and she is from Wyoming we had a lot in common and had the same views on life which made conversation easy. Karen was a self declared non cat lover and I remember the panic that set in at work after she announced she was cat sitting our Siamese cat, Sam while Owen and I went back home on vacation in 2016. I received lots of concerned phone calls asking if I were crazy letting Karen take care of Sam. She thought the commotion that caused was “a hoot” and laughed. I found a sign with a quote that said “Sometimes even I am surprised at what comes out of my mouth” and immediately thought of Karen. I printed and laminated and gave it to her. Well that was “a hoot” and she placed the sign prominently in her office. We had some fun times over the years sitting and gossiping both thinking my video game playing son wasn’t paying attention only to hear him snicker when he heard Miss Karen say something off color, which just might happen. She was the only person I know that could stand at the counter of Culvers and with a straight face as serious as she could be order CHEESE TURDS. Then as Owen and I are trying not to laugh out loud she would turn around so innocently pretending she had no clue she said something funny. He had told us that we were his favorite 2 crazy old ladies and then he met Karen’s sister Diane and she was honored with the #3 spot. We have lost a wonderful person and a true friend. She made a positive impact on the lives of everyone around her. Always a positive person, always happy, always had something funny to say even when she wasn’t really meaning to. That is when it was the funniest, her looking surprised at the laughter she caused. Always a true friend that I will miss more than I can say. Our sincerest condolences to her beloved Justin and his family and to her dear sister Diane. Rest in Peace my dear friend. We are going to miss all of those “hoots”.

    • Well, you managed to make me cry, yet again! I’m thinking “Life was a hoot!” might be the perfect saying for her foot stone. Hope you and “O” are doing okay. See you soon. Thanks so much for the condolences and for your friendship. Diane

      • Diane, just thinking she isn’t with us anymore makes me cry. Just really hasn’t sunk in yet. I see and hear things she would think were ‘a hoot’ and then it hits me that I will never be able to share that with her. And I agree, that would be the perfect saying for her foot stone! She was a hoot for sure! Gosh, I miss her. Hope you are doing well and that we keep in touch. Thank you for all that you did for Karen and for your friendship. See you soon! Kim

  25. I am very sad to find the news of Karen’s passing whilst researching our family tree. We were second cousins (on the UK side). I am thinking of you, Justin, and your family at this sad time and hope that, in time, we will be able to share stories. With kindest regards, Sophie

    • Thank you Sophie! Let me know if you need any family info.


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