[Bristol-Birds] D.W. "Bill" Yambert TWRA wildlife biologist dead at 87

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "TN-birds" <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Bristol-birds" <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2012 18:48:35 -0500

 DALE WILLIAM "BILL" YAMBERT, - age 87, died February 14, 2012, at Fort Sanders 
Regional Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He was a lifelong member of 
the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Knoxville TOS Chapter and both a famed 
wildlife biologist and non-game biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources 
Agency.  He worked as a biologist at Johnson City, Morristown and Nashville.  
His passing was of bad lungs, an ailing heart and the other effects that we 
will all suffer as we grow old. However, he held glad tidings and a strong 
spirit to the very end. He was a member of Powell United Methodist Church for 
over 30 years. He was a good and decent man and loved his family very much. In 
every greeting, he would ask how everyone else was doing always believing that 
he was doing "just fine". He was born January 1, 1925 in Toledo, Ohio, the son 
of Dale William Yambert, Sr. and Pauline Abt Yambert. Bill's early childhood 
years were spent in Ohio while his "growing up" years as an adolescent and 
young adult were spent in the outdoors of Tennessee as his family moved to 
Knoxville in the mid-1930s. His experiences during the Great Depression taught 
him lessons about life and money that made him both thrifty and wise. When 
World War II started, he was a student at Central High School. After 
graduation, he went to Harvard University where he studied engineering for one 
year before volunteering for duty with the United States Navy. After the war, 
he attended the University of Michigan earning both undergraduate and graduate 
degrees in Forestry. On March 2, 1951 he married Bobbie Jo Melton, the daughter 
of Hubert Franklin Melton and Martha Alice Barlow in Norris, Tennessee. His 
beloved wife preceded him in death on June 7, 1995. Bill was an Eagle Scout and 
served for several years as a Boy Scout leader. He was also an avid birdwatcher 
and a member of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society 
for more than seventy years, of which he served as its President in 1950. In 
2004, at the 80th birthday party of the society, he was the only member to be 
in both the 1940 and 2004 group pictures. While he was allergic to dogs, that 
allergy did not stop him from having many as pets during his married years. 
However, he also seemed to keep a diverse collection of reptiles, amphibians, 
birds of prey, and arachnids, including rattlesnakes in the kitchen and 
numerous specimens in the refrigerator. At one time, while living in suburban 
Nashville, he actually kept a pet wolf. It kind of made the neighbors a little 
nervous. He spent many years as a biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife 
Resources Agency where he became widely known. Almost anyone involved in the 
outdoors in East Tennessee knew Bill Yambert and cherished fond and sometimes 
humorous memories working with him on various important projects. He was an 
avid environmentalist way before that became the "in" thing to be in some 
political circles. Bill and his late wife Bobbie have two children: a daughter, 
Cynthia Carole and a son, Mark William, both now living in the Knoxville area 
with their families. Cynthia Carole Yambert married David Hobert McReynolds on 
September 6, 1974 and has four children: Amy Carole, Joseph David, John Michael 
and Rachel Kathleen. Amy Carole McReynolds married Kevin Peter Fitzsimons on 
June 14, 2000 and has one son, Padraig Liam. Amy and her family now live in 
Belfast, Northern Ireland. Mark William Yambert married Deborah Sue Hanlon on 
July 27, 1991 and has three Chinese children especially chosen to be their very 
own: Emma Grace Wenzhi, Maggie Alice Xiaohe and Mary Cynthia Mingyue. While 
Bill never spent money on himself, he made sure his children and grandchildren 
got the college education they sought and he helped his son and daughter-in-law 
adopt his three wonderful grandchildren from China. He has one brother, Paul 
Abt Yambert who married Carla Wikstrom. Paul and Carla Yambert now make their 
home in Urbana, Illinois. Bill is also survived by many other nieces, nephews, 
cousins and friends, too many to mention here. But, it is a sure thing that he 
loved every one of them. The family would like to thank the staff and other 
residents at Elmcroft Assisted Living in Halls for making his last home a 
friendly and safe place to be. We would also like to thank the nurses and other 
caregivers at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for their loving and 
respectful care. Also, much love and thanks to the hospital Chaplains who 
helped the family work through the emotions that the end of life brings. Family 
and friends will meet at 1:45 PM Friday at Woodhaven Cemetery for graveside 
service at 2:00 PM. Rev. G.W. Boles officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family 
requests that donations be made to the Fort Sanders Foundation in support of 
the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Centers Brain Injury Program. The family will 
receive friends 6:00-8:00 PM Thursday at Mynatt Funeral Home, Fountain City 
Chapel. www.mynattfh.com 




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