ALEXANDRIA—William “Bill” Whytlo Yary, 96, of Alexandria, formerly of Kilmarnock, the son of Russian and Polish immigrants, decorated Air Force Pilot, loving husband and dedicated family man, passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 4, 2020.
Exemplifying his commitment to his country, Bill served in three wars with the Army Air Corps, The Royal Air Force, and United States Air Force. Bill and his crew were given the distinct honor and privilege of leading the 390th Bombardment Group on 300 missions. He flew air evacuation missions in the Korean War, reconnaissance missions in Southeast Asia, and was lead crew navigator in World War II where he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Bill was stationed in Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico, England and Virginia with his last duty station being the Pentagon where he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1974. He then went to work for the Prince George’s School District in Maryland.
In 1946, Bill married the love of his life, Jean Cobb, and went on to raise two beautiful daughters. After losing his beloved Jean to cancer in 1992, he became deeply involved in his church, neighborhood and family. Golf and squash kept him young, dominating the Pentagon squash tournaments well into his 80s.
He is survived by his daughters, Margo Harvey and Michelle (Kent) Kratz; four grandchildren, Buck and Zachariah Harvey and Keith and Sarah Kratz; four great-grandchildren, Ava Harvey (14), Skyler Harvey (16), Jordan Hill (20) and Mason Hill (14); and a great-great-grandchild, Jaxsyn Hill, born the day after Bill’s passing.
Bill was a model of morality, strength and unconditional love. He held himself to a strict set of ethics that is rare in men these days, and was as passionate about his family as he was protecting his country. He will forever be someone to admire and aspire to emulate.