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God will comfort and give you the strength to endure. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Lynda
~ Lynda Hill - July 3, 2020
The first time I met Brian and Melanie was in 2000 during his Tech School at San Antonio. They were the nicest and sincerest friends I have ever met and were great friends to our family in Oklahoma and Ohio. You could always feel their friendliness, their sincerity and kindness. I always thought that Branson and Kailey are very blessed when they were born to such amazing parents. Although we have not kept in touch for a while, I always mention Brain and Melanie to my friends whenever positive personalities are brought up. Melanie, Branson and Kailey, my heartfelt condolence, you are always in my prayers.
~ Susie Lim - July 3, 2020
Melanie we recall fondly how right after our first move to Beavercreek we found ourselves at a picnic / volleyball afternoon organized by Brian and yourself. Brian welcomed us with a great big smile and introductions all around. Over the years as both our families crossed paths on the soccer fields, at backyard bbqs, at school performances Brian was there to say hello and ask after all of us. The love he has for his family beamed from him at every moment and his kind and thoughtful nature endeared him to all. Brian will be missed by so many and we know especially the kids and yourself. Our family sends love to all of Brian’s family and hope Melanie you all feel surrounded with love at this sad time.
~ Chuck and Marie Ware - July 2, 2020
To Brian’s family:
Tommy Ray texted me Monday morning with the news about Brian. This is tragic and I’m very sorry. I can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through.
I can’t really summarize over a decade of knowing and working with Brian. I remember specific events that weave together.
I interviewed Brian when he retired from the AF, and I hired him into Booz Allen. Brian worked on my team until I left Booz Allen in March 2020. I remember asking Brian during the interview about his non-typical Air Force assignments in his resume, e.g., I remember he was assigned to the National Weather Service at Norman OK, he was a speechwriter for the AFMC Command Group, and he was a program manager at the Battlefield Airman program office at Wright-Patt, which is a small office but critical to AF airmen who go into direct action. Brian had sincere enthusiasm about every position he held. He told me everything he’d learned at each job, and told me what he enjoyed about each one. Based on my own prior 20+ years on AF active duty in the same career field, Brian’s AF service seemed VERY genuine to me – he didn’t seem to seek fast-burning high-profile jobs where he’d “get noticed” and look to others for approval, but instead seemed to rely on his own values in setting his career path to make a real impact for the AF and support our country. In doing so, Brian had real experience and a diverse background that my team needed. And of course he had that big smile and energy in his conversation. I made my decision by the end of that interview, and I think hiring Brian was one of the best hiring decsions I’d made during my 14 years with Booz Allen.
All of the projects and contracts and work assignments are a blur now. One stands out in particular. In about 2012 (?) Brian ran a study for the AF that spent several months looking thoroughly at the cost to operate both the U-2 and Global Hawk spyplanes in their worldwide intelligence-gathering missions. The AF asked us to recommend which one to keep, or whether to keep a smaller number of each, because the AF couldn’t afford to operate both fleets worldwide. Key point here is that the U-2 and Global Hawk communities within the AF don’t get along -- there is overlap & competition in their missions, and they compete for the same budget, and so there have been a few decades of animosity between those groups. So, there was Brian running the final presentation to the 2-star general (Mike Schmidt) who had to take a decision up to the AF Chief of Staff for approval. The senior people on the U-2 team were on one side of the table, Global Hawk on the other, and Gen Schmidt at the head of the table. Brian had spent about 2 hours giving the presentation along with Booz Allen’s five smartest cost analysts at the firm, who Brian had led throughout the project (did a great job, I should add, herding those cats). I didn’t have to say a word, Brian had it well in-hand. When Brian was finished, the U-2 team spoke first, to Gen Schmidt: “I just want to tell you, General, that our two [Global Hawk and U-2] teams haven’t always gotten along very well, but this study was a good experience for us. For once, I think this Booz Allen team asked the right questions, they listened to us, they looked at the data fairly, and we accept the outcome.” I can’t understate how important that comment was to every one of us. ALL of that credit goes to Brian.
I remember Brian later telling me he wanted to attempt a PhD in Human Factors at Wright-State, and several other ideas for how we could set up programs to move the AF forward. He had very big ideas and he believed he could do ANYTHING as long as he could get the right team together. Brian had more mental energy than anyone else on my team to put long, complex thought into making his ideas work in our practical world with budgets and schedules (and people’s attitudes & personalities … many of whom were inside Booz Allen). He could really understand key people. And he had physical energy to set up the meetings, put the information together, bring the right people together, and run discussions to lead to good decisions. All that takes an incredible amount of work, and Brian would always get it done and stay on it. I asked him recently “whatever happened to that PhD plan you had?” Of course he broke into a big smile and said something like “just couldn’t work out doing that AND all the work I have for the client AND be there with my family the same time.”
I remember his pneumonia about 3-4 years ago and was concerned back then because it seemed serious. I was glad to see him finally shake that off and come back to the office. I also remember he often wore all-black and we’d say he was dressed like Johnny Cash. Good memories.
I’m with another company now. Just this week, 30 Jun 2020, I was part of a conference call between our company and a senior-level (GS-15) manager at the ISR-SOF division at Wright-Patterson. We were talking with her about recruiting the right people for a contract with her ISR-SOF organization. She didn’t know I used to work for Booz Allen and she didn’t know that I know Brian. She said “find out everything you can about Brian Yeakley. He is the kind of person our organization needs. That’s my answer to your recruiting question.”
You should be VERY proud of Brian and what he did during his career. THANK YOU for supporting him. I can’t believe Brian is not with us.
~ Greg Best - July 2, 2020
I went to Dixie with Brian. He graduated 2 years before me but we were in drama together. He was always kind, positive, and fun. I am so sorry for your loss.
~ Shari Shields-Meyers - July 2, 2020
I knew Brian's mother, Virginia, as she and Al were close neighbors of my Aunt Dona and Uncle Keith Storer. Virginia was so proud of Brian and his accomplishments. My cousin, Sherri Reese, also graduated with Brian and always said he was such a nice guy. May fond memories of special times comfort his family as they get through the days ahead. Know that he touched the hearts of many along his journey and will be missed by his many friends at WPAFB.
~ Janel Kilby - July 2, 2020
Melanie and kids, my most sincere condolences for your loss. I first met Brian 17 years ago when we worked together in the AFMC Commander’s Action Group. Brian was a tremendous talent, wonderful person and I truly enjoyed every day working with him. He was committed, caring and always providing quick witted humor to make even the most challenging of times fun. Through the years, we would both reach out to each other going to a favorite lunch spot for wings. He always gave me amazing advice and possessed a unique gift to put life in perspective. I can share with you all first-hand that Brian absolutely worshiped, adored and loved his family. He was an absolute true friend and will be missed. Cherish the good memories as Brian’s legacy and positive influence on others will live on for many years. My most sincere thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless. Tim "TJ" Johnson and Family
~ Tim "TJ" Johnson - July 2, 2020
I have a tatoo or at least this is what I call it from Brian fron 1986-87. During lunch I was messing with him a day or so before and stole a twinky on this day he was prepared with a pencile and stabbed me on the back of my hand. Told him if I died from lead poining I would come back to haunt him. Guess he can haunt me now. Always was a good guy and my prayers are with the family! We also skipped school to se a Reds game i had extra tickets.
~ Glen Hughes - July 2, 2020
Brian served in the Air Force Materiel Command's Commander's Action Group while I was the AFMC Commander. In that capacity, he was always the one who made each of us realize that no matter how challenging the task or how tense the environment if, we as a team would respect and trust each other, and then treat one another with dignity, we could be successful in anything we did....and have a little fun doing it. He was a great professional and wonderful role model. He will be greatly missed. Greg Martin
~ Gregory Martin - July 1, 2020
Melanie, I remember when your family came to the Beavercreek library for children’s books every week when Kailey and Branson were young. Then you moved away for several years and came back and we were so happy to see your wonderful family back again. So very sorry for your loss.
~ Carole Smith - July 1, 2020
Brian was a colleague at work, but more than a colleague. He was bright, cheerful and a genuinely good person. We worked on a number of Air Force projects together and his joy of life made the work easier. I remember getting regular updates from him about his show trips to New York. I will miss him.
~ Bryan Daly - July 1, 2020
I worked with Brian at Booz Allen Hamilton from 2010 to 2013. He was my manager for most of that time. We worked on some really exciting military projects together and I enjoyed working with him immensely. He was a very hard working individual who really cared about his career and doing his best for the company and for the warfighter. Everyone loved working with him and he had a very fun and positive attitude, so it was always a pleasure being around him. He really cared about his family and was always talking about what sports and activities his kids were doing. After I left Booz Allen we continued to stay in touch occasionally and met for lunch several times. He was a terrific guy and I was very sad to hear about his passing.
~ Ted Robertson - July 1, 2020
We treasure the years we spent with you just down the road. Cookouts, birthday parties, Halloween parties, couples Bunco. Talking, eating, laughing, and kids playing. They were good years! Our favorite memory is the babysitting/bathroom incident with Bill. Brian said, "We'll never hear from them again." Thank goodness he was wrong! We will hold onto these memories - Brian will be missed. We are so very sorry for this devastating loss and will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
Hugs and love,
Bill, Sundy, Emily and Will
~ Sundy Keichel - June 30, 2020
“B-2”, the second of his namesake in the AFRL Sensors Electronic Warfare Technology Branch, was an invaluable team mate and friend. Brian’s nickname was certainly fitting—he was a force of nature both in ability and personality! I will always have fond memories of him and extend my deepest sympathy to family and friends.
~ Denice Jacobs - June 30, 2020
I counted Brian as both a colleague and a friend. We were both Air Force veterans but never stationed together. We worked together for almost 4 years. We laughed and lamented on some of the decisions made on the projects we were working. Brian was a key cog in the wheel of our Booz Allen team. No matter how difficult the problem we had, Brian always came up with an answer, although sometimes I think he made some up on the spur of the moment. His wry humor always cut in when we got too serious about our work. I am so sorry to hear of this unexpected loss. I was so saddened to hear this shocking news. My heart goes out to you at this time of grief. Please accept my heartfelt condolence for your loss. My heart aches for you and your family. You are in my prayers.
~ Tom McCauley - June 30, 2020
I recall Brian in school always being kind, funny with an outrageously huge smile. Not to mention incredibly bright. I am so grateful to have known such a compassionate person. I am so sorry for your loss and will be covering your family in prayer. I am certain he was ushered home in the arms of the angels restored to our heavenly Father. You shall meet again. ???
~ Stormey Hunziker - June 30, 2020
My deepest condolences. I was stunned when I received the news yesterday. Brian and I also worked together within the AFMC Commander’s Action Group for General Martin. Brian was always the calm one…always taking the long hours and whipsaw taskings in stride. Many people at first underestimated him due to his quiet demeanor but he was truly one of the best officers I’ve worked with. He always put his head down and got the job done. I remember one occasion when the general ad libbed and deviated from what Brian had prepared, using a quote in a speech that turned out to be from a disreputable source. Brian and Joe Arata went in to see him and calmly explained why the general would not be including that quote in any subsequent speech. We always had a good chuckle about that “save” after the fact.
Here's a toast to the host of those who
Love the vastness of the sky.
To a friend we send the message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those, who gave their all of old.
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast
The U.S. Air Force!
We’ll miss you Brian…God bless you.
~ Daniel Marticello - June 30, 2020
What can I say about Brian? I think Tim Johnson (TJ, former co-worker on the CAG (Commander's Action Group)) said it to me best, "there are certain people you meet in your life-time that have a profound impact on your life." Brian was such a person. He was very thoughtful, considerate and just a great all around guy. I loved his wit and sense of humor. We know how much he loved Melanie and his children; he displayed those feelings routinely. One story, I would like to share is while Brain was the speech-writer and I was the CAG Chief. One day, we had a no-notice request to see Gen Greg "Speedy" Martin (4-star Commander of Air Force Materiel Command) about an upcoming speech he had to give. Gen Martin told us specifically to put in the Air Force's 2nd tenet, however, he didn't quote it quite correctly and I took literary license to make sure he had the correct words in his speech. I made the mistake of not directly following up with General Martin to let him know we made the change. Well, the next morning Brian and I were called on the carpet and he proceeded to scorch us, rightfully so (for me not for Brian because he just did what I told him to do). Anyway, after we were told that we disobeyed a direct verbal order. General Martin, said, look, I understand what you were doing...you put the correct words in the speech and that is fine, but you have to let me know about it...I have a photographic memory and remember the original version. General Martin, then patted Brian on the back and said. "you are going to have to have a thick skin if you're going to work for me". It was a lesson learned and one in which we talked and laughed about often. Rest in peace, my friend.
~ Joe Arata - June 30, 2020
Melanie, we remember many good times with you and Brian at Ramstein. We were just talking about you two last week at John and Amanda Cairns' place. We are so very sorry about Brian's passing, and will keep all of you in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.
God Bless you
Love, the Buzzards
~ John and Kathy Buzzard - June 29, 2020
I have known the Yeakley’s for about a year now and the love that I have received from this entire family in such a small amount of time is a rare phenomenon these days. I met Kailey through theatre, and last year we were in a show together. Anything can happen in a live performance, but the one thing I could count on to be constant was Brian and Melanie sitting in the audience. Every single performance they were there, and after the show, there would be Brian and Melanie greeting their daughter and the cast with all the enthusiasm in the world, as if they had not seen the show five times by now. I remember joking around with Kailey saying “Wow, your parents are at every show…aren’t they sick of it!?” and she just chuckled and said, “they do that for all my performances.” Love is a complex thing to define but showing up to support your daughter for 6-8 shows in 14 days is a pretty convincing way to show Love. Brian was a proud father; you could tell by the way he lit up around his daughter. Brian was pure joy and he has passed that on into his children, and I am forever grateful for the daughter he and Melanie have raised together, a daughter I plan to call my friend for the rest of my life.
~ Amber Todd - June 29, 2020
Brian and I were very close when we were teens . We spent countless quarters in the Salam Mall arcade . We spent a whole summer shooting basketball befor we moved to Arkansas . I thought maybe our journey would end there but he got stationed in the same Squad in the Air Force . The 57th fighter weapons wing at Nellis AFB. He moved in with us . Brian and I were more than cousins we were more like Brothers those years . Love you Brother. RIP .
~ Jay Owens - June 29, 2020
He was always smiling and such a kind man. What a great role model for his kids and a loving husband to his wife.
~ Dorae Bush - June 29, 2020
I worked with Brian in Germany in the 37th Airlift Squadron back in the mid 1990's. Many good times. He was always there to make sure long tiresome shifts were fun.
~ Michael Theisen - June 29, 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Brian several years ago on the AFMC Commander’s Action Group. Brian served as the Commander’s speechwriter, and he was the best I ever saw. Smart, extremely funny, and a loyal team member always. Brian is already a hit in heaven. With deepest sympathies to Brian’s family.
~ Marc Mazza - June 29, 2020
I had the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST crush on Brian in the eighth grade!! He was ALWAYS a friend to everyone. He NEVER made me feel bad about myself. Please accept my condolences. He will ALWAYS have a special place in my memories.
~ Nicole Haler (Lewis) - June 29, 2020
It is with a broken heart I learned of the death of Melanie's dear husband, Brian.
Although I only met him once at son Branson's high school graduation celebration, Melanie always spoke about her hubby in only loving and endearing terms.
My many thoughts and prayers are with the Yeakley and Williams families today, and especially during Brian's Celebration of Life on 03July. Although previous family commitments prevent me from attending, I will truly be there in spirit. May the Good Lord keep your family close during this time of mourning.
~ Cheryl Whitican - June 29, 2020
If you knew him, you loved him! I remember when you two got married and I was completely smitten with him, he was so good looking, had a great smile, always funny, always made me feel important even though I was a kid and just a gentle soul in general. I think I was 13 or 14 then, I am 43 now and still smitten with the man he was. I cannot think of a better example of a father or a husband. Love you all so very much, I will be continuing to pray for all of you.
~ Melissa Pilgreen - June 29, 2020
Wow! There aren’t enough good words to say about Brian. We always enjoyed being around him. There was never a bad attitude about him which made him such an enjoyable person to be around. We are truly sorry for your loss of such a great person. I just can’t find the right words to truly express our sorrows for you. We are and will continue to pray for you. I’ve asked our church here in Alabama to be praying for you as well.
We love you all,
Kim, Dusty, Devin, & Sheldon Watkins
~ Kimberly Watkins - June 29, 2020
I only met Brian about two years ago through work, but his friendliness, professionalism, and generosity with his experience and knowledge quickly won me over. To hear that he always had time for everyone is no surprise-- Brian provided valuable guidance to MIT Lincoln Laboratory weekly, and with his magnetic personality and dedication was able to bring multiple large organizations together to work on challenging problems. Due to distance most of our conversations were on the phone, but I always looked forward to seeing Brian on business trips and sharing lunch or dinner when we could. I’ll miss his dry sense of humor and smile. My deepest sympathies to Brian's family and friends, and I wish you any comfort your hearts can find in the wake of his passing.
~ Matthias Beebe - June 29, 2020
My name is Cole, I worked with Brian for the last two years when I came over to work at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Brian was an amazing person to work with. He was easily one of the most dedicated people in the office and was always willing to stay until the end to ensure that things were done. He was a person that would brighten up otherwise dull tasks and because of that, he was always busy because everyone wanted him on their team. I can't remember how many times I woke up to an e-mail that he sent at midnight to make sure we had what we needed for day. He was a person that worked on important things his whole life, and he displayed that understanding with the dedication he put forth every day.
The team and I will miss him very much moving forward, and I hope to take a part his dedication and good attitude with me in daily life.
Lastly, I would like to say thank you to his wife, children, and family for sharing his time with us and I truly enjoyed the time that I spent with him.
~ Cole Piper - June 29, 2020
You would always see Brian at the office with a smile that brightened our day.
~ Terry Hicks - June 29, 2020
Melanie, Branson, Kailey,
Our hearts are breaking for your loss. So many great memories and uncountable laughs. Brian was definitely one of the kindest and most generous people I’ve ever met. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone and he absolutely never stopped talking about his favorite thing in the world: his family. Brian always beamed proudly when he talked about you three and your latest endeavors. It was easy to get him to smile but his eyes were brightest when he was talking about Mel, Branson, or Kailey. He will be missed by all who knew him and I’m grateful for these decades of friendship he provided. Please know that you are in our thoughts and are here for you. The Diaz family.
~ Ric Diaz - June 29, 2020
Brian was my brother in law for 30 years and I have many amazing memories of him one of my favs I was staying with Mel and Brian while having eye surgery in Oklahoma city one night after everyone had gone to bed he and I had been sitting talking he was asking me what it was like being totally blind what did I find most challenging. He was very understanding, compassionate, but best of all he found humor and made me laugh, I enjoyed playing games but the thing I adored about him most was the way he loved my sister and his kids there was never a doubt how very much he cherished his family. Brian will be missed so much we love you!!!
~ Jennifer Isley-mcmurray - June 29, 2020
I worked with Brian in AFLCMC/WINA and AFLCMC/WING over the past 5 years. He became "YEAKLEY" as result of being one of three "Brians" in our office area. We called the back "common use" desk in our area "Brian's desk" because he was always there if not in his BAH office. We loved his sense dry sense of humor, devilish smile when he thought something was funny and the many contributions he's made to our programs. He will be GREATLY missed by our Air Force team and I can't begin to fathom the loss to your family. Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with you. God bless you all.
~ Katherine Koehler - June 29, 2020
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