Long one of Turlock’s most prominent citizens, Frank Youngdale, Jr., passed away Friday during a family trip to Santa Cruz. He was 87.
Youngdale was surrounded by family on the annual outing.
“It was wonderful because he loves it over there and the family was all together, right on the water,” said Youngdale’s wife of 55 years, Joan Youngdale.
A lifelong Turlock resident, Frank Youngdale was born at Emanuel Hospital in 1924 – just three years after his parents, Frank Sr. and Esther Youngdale, founded Youngdale’s Incorporated. The hardware, home good, furniture, and appliance store was a Turlock landmark until it closed in 2009.
Just days after graduating from Turlock High in 1943, Youngdale left for World War II, where he served the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Indiana. Upon returning to Turlock, Youngdale started work at the family business. Youngdale worked at the family store until 1987, when he retired at the age of 63.
His leadership was remembered fondly by Hiro Asai, a Japanese-American who was interned during World War II, fought for the U.S. Army, and later went to trade school to be a repair man. Due to a common anti-Japanese sentiment in the days following WWII, Asai had difficulty finding employment before Youngdale gave him a chance.
“Frank Youngdale hired me, but it was against some people’s objection,” Asai told the Journal in 2010.
Following Youngdale’s retirement, he and Joan Youngdale travelled the country in their motorhome as members of the Turlock Pleasure Seekers RV Club. Their motorhome adventures lasted 22 years – with numerous snow skiing, water skiing, and cruise trips in between.
Throughout those trips, Joan Youngdale was by his side. The two did everything together.
“He was just a special man,” Joan Youngdale said. “Special to me.”
Long-involved in Turlock, Youngdale was an active Rotarian for 25 years.
And Youngdale continued to be involved in Turlock up until his unexpected death, meeting with a group of seven friends for coffee each morning – and to debate the news of the day. The group of friends met six days a week for nearly 50 years, and even today splitting their mornings between Latif’s and La Mo.
Youngdale was able to meet with his friends for coffee one last time on Monday, before his family left on the Santa Cruz trip that would ultimately be his last.
“I said this will be the last day this week,” Joan Youngdale said. “I didn’t know it would be the last day ever.”
Youngdale is survived by two children, Gary and Debbie Youngdale; five grandchildren, Jaime and Darren Cargill, and Lauren, Bryce, and Jasmine Youngdale; and two great-grandchildren, Landyn and Brynnen Cupit. He is also survived by his brother, Bill Youngdale, and sister, Mary Lou Bonander.
Youngdale’s memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd. The burial will be private, at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the giver’s favorite charity.