Cover photo for Paul Abt Yambert's Obituary
Paul Abt Yambert Profile Photo

Paul Abt Yambert

d. June 10, 2023


Paul Abt Yambert, 95, passed away recently in Nixa. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Dale William (“Dale”) Yambert Sr. and Pauline (Abt) Yambert. His older brother was Dale William (“Bill”) Yambert Jr.

Paul attended Central High School in Fountain City, near Knoxville, Tennessee, and then went to nearby Maryville College. Growing up in east Tennessee, Pop developed a strong attachment to the Great Smoky Mountains, where he became an avid hiker and camper. His deep interest in the natural world led him in 1948 to enroll at the University of Michigan, which offered the nation’s first courses in forestry. He graduated with a degree in forestry, followed by a master’s degree in conservation.

Paul met Carla Wikstrom in a botany class at Michigan. They married at her parents’ house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, andhad five children: Carl (aka Karl), Nels, Laura, Jon, and Jens(Jay). 

Paul served as a professional Boy Scout leader and then taught biology at Ann Arbor High School. In 1957, the Yambert family moved to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, where Paul taught forestry at what was then called Central State College (it is now the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point). Even in his new job, Paul was able to finish a second master’s degree and a doctorate from Michigan. In 1961 he became the first dean of the new School of Applied Arts and Sciences at the Stevens Point campus. He would also serve as acting dean for fine arts and acting vice-president of academic affairs, and he was recognized with the outstanding faculty member award. He was instrumental in gaining accreditation for a new Department of Natural Resources at Stevens Point. In 1969 Paul took a new position at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he taught until his retirement in 1987.

Surrounded by four generations of his family, Paul happily celebrated turning 95 shortly before he died. He was preceded in death by his brother Bill and sons Nels and Jay. He is survived by Carla, his wife of more than 72 years, son Karl (Helen), daughter Laura (Vern), and son Jon (Connie), as well as eighteen grandchildren and nineteen (and counting) great-grandchildren.

No ceremony is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering a donation to a favorite local, state, or national park.

Cremation rites have been accorded by Adams Crematory. Arrangements are under direvtion of Adams Funeral Home, Nixa.


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