In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 14, the world lost a beautiful soul – Eddie Yost, who touched the lives of so many as a loving husband, a wonderful father and an amazingly honest and hard-working Realtor.
Elmer “Eddie” Don Yost, who was born in Greensboro on May 28, 1935, graduated from Greensboro Senior High School and Duke University.
In 1958, he joined Yost & Little Realty – a real estate firm that his father, Elmer Yost, had started in 1928 under the name of Dixie Realty & Loan Co. That real estate business became Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Yost & Little Realty, and, right up until the very end of his life at age 84, Eddie would go each weekday into the office with the same enthusiasm he did when he was an eager young Realtor in his early 20s.
Eddie was a highly successful Realtor who loved the business. He became the president of the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association and, in 1985, he was selected “Realtor of the Year” for the Greensboro region.
He served his beloved city, Greensboro, and the surrounding communities, in many other capacities as well – including serving on the Greensboro War Memorial Coliseum Commission, the Greensboro Sports Council and the Board of Advisors for Elon University’s Love School of Business. He also loved the Greater Greensboro Open golf tournament and – back when it was still known as “the GGO” – he dedicated himself to supporting that tournament in many capacities.
Though Eddie Yost found much success and received many business accolades as a Realtor – and though he was named to the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association Hall of Fame and became known in real estate circles nationally – those accomplishments are not what he will be most remembered for.
What he will be most remembered for is for being one of the kindest, gentlest and nicest human beings ever to walk upon the earth.
Even in his day-to-day real estate life, he viewed his work, not as a business but as an important service to the world. His great passion was helping people find the perfect home where they could live happily and raise their children. He always said that the best sale he ever made was a small mobile home early in his career because of the way that young family was so overjoyed about owning their first home.
Eddie Yost had many passions in life. In his younger days he was an excellent football player and, while at Greensboro Senior High – a school that later became Grimsley High – the handsome young man was selected by classmates as “Most Athletic.”
He loved the ocean. He loved everything about it. He sailed it enthusiastically, fished it, sat on decks and docks next to it for hours on end, and he watched the sun set into it. When he was a young man in his 20s, he even painted pictures of the sea. It’s no surprise he was often called “Captain,” even when off the water.
Just as he loved the sea, he also loved the sky and was a proud pilot. In his younger years, he enjoyed flying his family to the beach or the mountains in a small plane, whether they were reluctant passengers or not.
While he enjoyed these pastimes, it wasn’t always the safest thing to be a passenger of “Big E,” as he was called. More than once, he rammed a large boat into the dock at Beaufort and had a rough landing in a small plane with family members on board.
Another thing he loved was meeting with long-time friends at breakfast get-togethers at Brown Gardiner or Mimi’s Cafe.
He also liked sitting on the deck at Grandfather Mountain watching the ducks in the water and enjoying the grandeur of the mountain.
He was a collector of many things – boats, cars, planes, tools, flashlights, etc. It didn’t matter their age or perceived value. Once he acquired something, he never let it go. The very same can be said of his friendships. From childhood on, he collected and valued his friends and associates. What he valued the most, though, was his family, which grew over the years. Through two of his marriages, he collected five extra children and held them close.
Eddie is survived by his wife, Leigh Yost, and his three children – Mark Yost (Christy), Scott Yost and Sharon Dente (Gene); his stepchildren Lynn Murphy (Melissa), Rhett Murphy, Ginna Bauhan (Hobey), Dodson Schenck Jr. (Robin), Russell Combs (Brian) and by 12 beloved grandchildren.
Eddie was preceded in death by his wife Ann Schenck Yost, his parents Elmer and Bessie Yost, his sister Betty Yost Little and his sister Mildred Yost Rives. Throughout his life, he maintained a terrific relationship with his first wife, Frances “Butch” Patterson.
After his death, loving comments poured in.
Friends, family and business associates talked about the twinkle in his eyes, his wry smile, his constant optimism, his quick “How you doing?” and his firm handshake, as well as the way he loved playing jokes on people and his incredible negotiating skills that were able to bring people together no matter how far apart everyone was at the start of the conversation.
One business associate said that Eddie Yost had a “greatness that was rooted in gentleness, in graciousness and in goodness and kindness.”
People also remembered the way he always rose early and was a very dapper dresser – even when he only planned to sit on his patio and watch the birds eat from the feeders.
Eddie will be remembered by his love for others and especially his love for his hometown, Greensboro, the city where he was born and where he died.
Given that Eddie got along with everyone, it is fitting that it was a life-long real estate competitor who summed him up so well: “He was Santa Claus, a teddy bear and Mr. Rogers all mixed up in one.”
Elmer “Eddie” Don Yost will be greatly, greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched, whether by putting them in homes, pulling his car over on the highway to help them when they were in need, or by, as he did his family, showing them a constant, boundless love that continues even now.
Online condolences can be offered at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the graveside service will be limited to a small family gathering. However, the family hopes to hold a memorial service honoring the life of Eddie Yost at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to either the Susan G. Komen Foundation or to Habitat for Humanity. Donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation can be sent to 2316 Randolph Road, Charlotte NC, 28207. Donations to Habitat for Humanity can be made through the Greensboro Regional Realtors Association (GRRA) at 23 Oak Branch Dr., Greensboro, NC, 27407.