Jon Warren Ylitalo
Jon Warren Ylitalo
LONGVIEW — Jon Warren Ylitalo, 71, of Longview, TX, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 13, 2020, while traveling in New Mexico. Jon was born February 25, 1949 in San Diego, California and graduated from MacArthur High School in San Antonio, TX, where he held the record for longest punt for several years. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy on a football scholarship, and upon his honorable discharge because of football injuries, he left to hitchhike through Central and South America where his love for the outdoors and nature grew? sleeping on the beach and eating fresh fruits and seafood while exploring different places and cultures. He earned his BBA from the University of Texas at Austin and his MS in Environmental Science from UTSA. In 1975 he met his future wife, Beth Johnston, at her sister’s wedding and they married April 8, 1978 in Longview, Texas. Jon and Beth then moved to Polaris, Montana where they owned and operated the Grasshopper Inn for 8 years and started a family. In 1985, they moved to Longview where Jon began his career as a landscaper, owning and operating Seed Bin Landscapes until his death. His love of plants and the outdoors coupled with helping others culminated into his life-long work, and that is what made him happy.
Jon is preceded in death by his parents, Elmer “Joe” and Faye Stish Ylitalo, and his older brother Joe Alan Ylitalo. He is survived by his loving wife of over 42 years, Beth; children, Adam (Kelly) Ylitalo and Alec Ylitalo; precious grandchildren, Eleanor and Edison; siblings David (Debby) Ylitalo, Sharr Ylitalo Nall , Troy (Trina) Ylitalo, and Dean (Fran) Ylitalo; countless nieces and nephews and friends whom he all adored. He served his roles as Jon, Papa, Dad, Papa Jon, and Uncle Jon, and loved his family and friends. Everyone was a friend to Jon and thus like family.
He was a member of First Christian Church, and spent many hours beautifying the grounds, Bethany Home, and the Memorial Garden. He always felt close to God as he worked and his means of worship was through nature.
Without complaint, he faced and fought through years of health struggles: several cancers, the effects of surgeries, radiation and chemo, and overwhelming pain throughout his body. He always found a way to persevere each and every day through it all. Recently you could find him working in his garden, sharing his skills and bounty with friends and family, playing golf with his buddies, or sitting outside at the lake with his wife, family, friends, or just by himself, watching the sunset over the water while enjoying a mixed drink and listening to his favorite music. We will miss his quick wit, caring spirit, his crossword puzzle expertise, his obsession with NCIS and his big hugs.
Jon’s life will be celebrated at an informal, outdoor memorial service on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at 6:00pm outside at the Cherokee Club with a sunset toast to follow.
In lieu of flowers, Jon would be “tickled pink” if everyone planted a flower, shrub, or tree in his memory at their favorite place or you can send a memorial to First Christian Church Longview Property Fund.

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