Robert J. Yapp

Robert Yapp

Robert James Yapp, 86 years of age, died peacefully on Friday, July 29, 2011 at his home in Vineyard Haven with his family by his side.

He was the husband of Louise (Costa) Yapp for 63 years. Together they had two sons, Robert W. Yapp and Mark G. Yapp.

Bob was born in Fond du Lac, Wisc., on May 14, 1925, the son of Donald L. Yapp and Katherine (Amory) Yapp. He was educated in the Fond du Lac school system and attended Stevens Point High School until he enlisted into the Coast Guard in his junior year in 1943 during World War II. He was stationed on Martha’s Vineyard, where he met his future wife. While stationed on the Vineyard, he spent many days walking South beach with his tommy gun, scanning for enemy warships. He was also stationed in Eureka, Calif., where he patrolled the West Coast waters, again looking for enemy ships. He was discharged in 1946 as a yeoman first class after serving aboard the USS Pulaski. He returned to Fond du Lac for a few years, working at JC Penney before coming back to the Vineyard to marry Louise on May 15, 1948, one day after his birthday so he could be one year older than his future bride.

Bob worked on the Island supporting his family any way he could by working numerous positions for Brickman’s and Leslie’s Pharmacy. He was also one of the first employees at Phillip’s Grocery Store in Oak Bluffs when they first opened. He then worked for Holmes Hole Home Goods in Vineyard Haven and was a funeral attendant for Sylvia Funeral Home. The job he enjoyed most was working at the Steamship Authority for 27 years, where he was always dedicated, even getting up two hours earlier than he had to so he could arrive at work on time or before he was scheduled for duty. With his bright, helpful and very caring attitude, his presence was always a pleasure for those passengers leaving or arriving. He retired at 80 years of age as an assistant agent.

Bob was a parishioner of St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, a member of the American Legion and the Holy Ghost Society. In addition, whatever activities his sons participated in, he was always there to volunteer his help in any way he could. Because he left high school for the service before his graduation, he attained his diploma with the help of Joanne Murphy from the Veteran’s Administration five years ago, which was another life-fulfilling accomplishment.

Bob was the beloved husband of Louise C. Yapp, and it was clear to all who knew them that Bob and Louise were the center of each other’s lives. Bob was a devoted father to his two sons, Robert W. Yapp of West Tisbury and Mark G. Yapp of Acushnet. He felt blessed to be the loving grandfather of Scott R. Yapp of Brighton and West Tisbury.

He is also survived by daughter-in-law Debra L.S. Yapp of West Tisbury, his sister, Nancy L. Holland of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; his brother-in-law, Joseph A. Costa, and his wife, Vivian of Vineyard Haven and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and many friends. He was like an adopted father to Martha Post of West Tisbury. He was predeceased by his brothers, Donald A. Yapp and James B. Yapp, and his sister, Joan Mengel. The family would like to thank Edith Heath of Sostek Home Care for her kindness as Bob’s recent caretaker.

Visiting hours will be in the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs on Thursday, Aug. 4, from 6 to 8 pm.

His graveside service, officiated by Father Michael Nagle and military honors provided by the Veterans of M.V., will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery, State Road, Vineyard Haven on Friday, Aug. 5, at 11 am with a funeral procession from the funeral home beginning at 10 am.

Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the Vineyard Nursing Association, P.O. Box 399, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or to a charity of one’s choice.Please visit for online guest book and information.