Barbara Jean (Bailey) Yeokum
We lost our mother, Barbara Jean (Bailey) Yeokum on December 29, 2020. We are heartbroken for ourselves but rejoice that she is no longer in pain and has been reunited with those who went before her. As a good friend reminded me yesterday – she is dancing with Jesus today on streets of gold. What a beautiful visual. She was an angel here on earth and we were blessed to have had her for as long as we did.
Barbara was a kind and gentle woman. She saw the best and brought out the best in those around her. She was selfless. She preferred to put the needs of others before hers and delighted in their joy and their accomplishments. It was always easy and fun to be with her. She was a good friend to so many who were fortunate to know her. Her purity of heart and unfaltering way of making everyone feel accepted are qualities that drew people to her. Several family members have reflected that we all need to cultivate that part of ourselves. We need to be more like her. Her love was not flashy or boastful, it was strong and beautiful. She loved through her actions.
She was born and raised in Kansas, a true Sunflower girl. She attended the University of Kansas where she met and married Mark Yeokum. They spent several years in Okinawa, where he was based as an Air Force pilot, before returning to Kansas City to raise their two children, Daniel Mark and Sarah Lynn. She was a devoted homemaker while her children were young, active in her church and her community. She enjoyed square dancing, theater, playing in the church bell choir, playing bridge with her friends, and supporting her children’s activities.
She had a keen mind, and when her children were older, she became a tax preparer. By the time she retired, she ran the tax department of the small firm that employed her. She and her daughter Sarah worked at the same firm for several years, which was a highlight for both of them. After she and Mark divorced, she found strength she didn’t know she had. She later said to us that being single wasn’t the life she envisioned, but she had discovered a different path to happiness. She became a world traveler including trips to Egypt, the Holy Lands, England, and Australia. She took cruises to Alaska and the Mediterranean. She enjoyed many trips across the country with friends and family. One of her favorite adventures was a train trip across Canada with her son, Dan. She traveled to watch her beloved Jayhawk basketball team play in Maui, the Bahamas, and Vancouver.
She had a passion for volunteer work. In her retirement years, she volunteered in the surgery waiting room at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, comforting anxious family members. She continued this into her 80’s. She was the volunteer treasurer of several of the various organizations she belonged to. She was active in her church and found great comfort in God’s word through Sunday School classes and bible studies. She was active in her sorority (AOPi), her church (Valley View United Methodist), Johnson County Young Matrons, and PEO (an organization whose mission is to help women reach for the stars).
She was a quiet, gracious woman with a strong sense of family. Her happy place was having us all together for meals, games, and laughter. She leaves behind her children (Dan Yeokum & Sarah Kelly), her son-in law (Bruce Kelly), her daughter-in-law (Tammy Yeokum), her grandchildren (Megan Brantley & Jared Kelly), her brother (Dennis Bailey), her nieces (Lynae Beauchamp & Danette Sauer), and their children (Erin Beauchamp, Derek Beauchamp, Jake Beauchamp, & Bailey Sauer). We will miss her terribly and look forward to the time when we will see her again.