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Monday, July 10, 2000

442nd chaplain
Israel Yost
dead at 84

He asked to be assigned
to the infantry so he could
be with the troops

More obituaries

By Treena Shapiro


The Rev. Israel A.S. Yost had just begun his ministry when the United States entered World War II.

As members of his Pennsylvania parish began leaving to serve in Europe, Yost decided to follow them. After attending chaplain school, he asked to be assigned to an infantry division because in infantry, "you definitely stay with your men," said his wife, Peggy V. Landon Yost.

Art In 1943, Yost was assigned to the 100th Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, where he was often found with the most forward aid station, helping to perform last rites and staying with the wounded. Wounded twice himself, Yost earned the Purple Heart with the Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit and the Italian Cross for Military Valor.

Yost, 84, of Schuylkill County, Pa., died June 25 in Frederick, Md.

The 442nd soldiers from Hawaii took good care of their chaplain during the war years, his wife said. They made sure he had everything he needed, but also gave him some good-natured ribbing. "They teased him because he ate his rice with milk and sugar." But, "through the years we're more likely to eat it without milk and sugar."

The Yosts and their 11 children moved to Hawaii in 1962. Yost had lived in Pennsylvania most of his life but chose to come to Hawaii "in part because he knew he would have friends there," she said.

The family remained in Hawaii until 1965. During that time, Yost, a graduate of Muhlenberg College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, taught Latin and other subjects in high schools and began the Maluhia-Lutheran Church in Waianae. His church originally met in a band room, then in a Quonset hut. After Yost left, a permanent building was erected to house the church.

He also served congregations in New Jersey and Maryland and was literacy director for the Wabag Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea.

After retirement, he volunteered as a prison chaplain, an adult literacy teacher and a board member of the American Red Cross.

Last year he was hospitalized with Parkinson's disease and later moved into a nursing home. "He said when he discovered he had Parkinson's, 'I had health and strength when I needed it for my family and my ministry,'" and accepted his condition very well, his wife said.

He is also survived by sons Christian, Israel J., Nathan, Reuben, Homer, Peter and Luther; daughters Monica, Faith, Hannah and Maria, and 12 grandchildren.

Funeral services have been held. Memorial gifts may be given to St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Hospice of Frederick County or charity.

Special section: Strength and Honor

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