Patrick Ronald Yourkowski, 59, of Monmouth, Ore., and Homer, died Dec. 14, 2013, in Salem Ore. Pat “left planet Earth,” his family said. He died due to complications from heart surgery.
Pat was born in Renton, Wash. on Dec. 28, 1953, to Louis and Marie Yourkowski. He graduated from McNary High School and went on to attend Oregon State University. In 1976 Pat headed to Alaska for the first time with his life-long friend Roy Anderson in a Volkswagen Bug. He returned to Oregon and with the help of Roy and another friend, Leonard Panther, built a cabin on the back of a truck and headed north to Alaska for good.
Pat was a gifted carpenter, lending his craft to many notable buildings in Homer, including the Salty Dawg Saloon and Alice’s Champagne Palce. In 1996 he went to work for the Honolulu Maritime Museum. He was in charge of the restoration of the Falls of Clyde, the only four-masted full-rig ship left in the world and a national historic landmark. He also was a commercial fisherman, poet, avid hunter, human behavioral expert, lothario and crossword puzzle savant. He was a man of notable intellect and unmatched wit and humor, with a unique style and approach to the world. He approached existence as art. In short, he “lived in jest, and died impressed,” his family said.
Pat, or “PY,” as many called him, is survived by his two daughters, Savannah Blue and Briar Smith; his mother, Marie Yourkowski; his brothers, Mike Yourkowski and Richard Yourkowski; his nephew, Cameron Yourkowski; niece, Ella Yourkowski, and many friends.
A celebration of his life was held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, at the home of Leonard and Deb Panther, 1606 Urban Lane, West Salem, Ore. An additional celebration of his life will be held in Homer in the spring, with details to be announced.