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Alfred Arthur 'Alf' Younkin 
(1888-1965) and
Lillian Rhoads (1891-1983)


Alfred and Lillian Younkin

Alfred Arthur Younkin was born on March 17, 1888 in Casselman, Somerset County, PA, the adopted son of Charles and Sarah (Artest) Younkin. He and his wife became pioneer apple growers in Washington State.

When he was 25 years of age, in about 1913, Alfred was united in holy matrimony with his cousin, 22-year-old Lillian Rhoads (1891-1983), the daughter of James and Minnie (Younkin) Rhoads

The Younkins went on to produce a family of three sons -- Leland Alfred Younkin, James Melvin Younkin Sr. and Harold "Raymond" Younkin.

Alfred as a young man was a musician with the Casselman Cornet Band, made up of local citizens playing a variety of brass instruments. A photograph was taken of the group, and many years later was published in the book Down the Road of Our Past. Judging from the image, he and his friend Billy Scott played trombone. As seen below, the faces in the photograph are: back row, left to right, Billy Scott and Alfred Younkin (trombones), Harry Weimer, Harry Heil, Charlie Pritts, Roscoe Shank (cornet); middle row, left to right, Ray Mickey, Howard Heinbaugh, Orville Heinbaugh, S. Pritts, Harry J. Hechler, Frank Wiltrout (clarinet); and front row, left to right, Raleigh Whipkey (drum), Blair Kirpatrick, (?), Cal Liphart, Roy Mickey, (?) director (base drum).


Alfred Younkin

In the early 1900s, prior to marriage, Alfred relocated to North Dakota, where he was employed on a farm. The United States Census of 1910 shows him boarding as a "hired man" in the home of W.E. and Blanche L. Kidder of Merricourt, Dickey County, ND. Their community in 1910 was filled with families from Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri and New York in addition to a host of Russian immigrant families apparently brought there to provide labor on the farms.

Later, hearing from friends that the western apple industry was booming, he went back east and married his sweetheart Lillian. Then with his father Charles, the group of three (and perhaps others) migrated to Washington State with an eye toward settling in the town of Wenatchee. Their destination was located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers near the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountain Range.

In Wenatchee, they were united with their longtime friends from Casselman, Walter and Mary Ann (Phillippi) Wilkins and their son Scott W. and his wife Lillian May Wilkins. In fact, Alfred and Scott were best friends. Walter and Ann and their married daughter and husband Dora and H.O. Mickey had arrived in Wenatchee before the Younkins in March 1910, on the No. 1 train from Casselman. Reported the Wenatchee Daily World, they were "the guests of L.S. Phillippi. The new arrivals expect to locate here."


The Casselman Cornet Band with Alf standing, back row, 2nd from left.



Book picturing Alfred

(In an interesting twist, Lillian's mother and Walter Wilkins were step-siblings, their parents having married each other later in life.)

Alfred and Scott first tried their hand at planting apples at Hiawatha Valley west of Moses Lake, Grant County, WA. The soil there was dry and poor, and when that enterprise did not work out, Alfred and Lillian moved to Wenatchee, Chelan County, WA, where they settled for a time. Scott Wilkins and his family chose to remain in the Moses Lake area.

In Wenatchee, the world of the Younkins became focused almost exclusively upon apples. Circa 1914, they planted an orchard of 20 acres of apple trees. In about 1928, to meet an expanding customer need, they founded an apple sorting warehouse. The warehouse remained in the family for some 65 years, until the late 1970s.

Alfred is said to have been one of the first growers in the area to graft over some of his trees to Red Delicious, using tree branches sent from the eastern United States. He regularly sent crates of apples to his Younkin cousins in Pennsylvania at Christmastime, one of whom was John W. "Emory" Younkin in Rockwood, Somerset County, and whose daughter told the story many years later to the founder of this website.

The Younkins appear to have moved back east from time to time.


Above: orchard and valley in Wenatchee, early 1900s. Below left, L-R: Clarence Stewart, Alfred Younkin, Scott Wilkins. Below right: the Younkins (far right) attend Scott Wilkins' 61st birthday party in July 1949




Apple pickers in Wenatchee

When the federal census was taken in 1920, Alf, Lillian and their four-month-old son Leland were enumerated in Ohio in the home of Lilliam's parents in Deerfield, Portage County. The census taker recorded Alfred's occupation as "apple orchard." The combined family dwelled on a farm along the Deerfield Yale Road in Deerfield.

In 1920, the family received sad word of the passing of their 49-year-old longtime friend Mary Ann (Phillippi) Wilkins in Wenatchee. The cause was believed to have been influenza. Mary Ann'shusband Walter lived for another 19 years in Hiawatha near Moses Lake. Then in October 1939, his dead body found by a son in a shed near home.

By 1928, at the birth of their youngest son, Alfred and Lillian once again had returned to Washington State, and were there for the remainder of their lives. The federal census enumerations of 1930 and 1940 show the Alfred and Lillian and their three sons in Sunnyslope, Chelan County. Alfred's occupation was listed in 1930 as "farmer-fruit farm" and in 1940 as "fruit grower" with son Leland as "laborer."



Walter Wilkins and son Scott

The Younkins worried as their sons Leland and Melvin joined the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Leland piloted a B-24 bomber in Europe as a member of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force Liberator group. He is known to have flown 100 missions over enemy territory and and often was cited for gallantry in action, earning 11 silver stars and 14 Oak Leaf Clusters. They received a letter from him in June 1944, from Italy, stating that he had been promoted from captain to major. He returned home for visits twice, including once in November 1944.

In turn, their son Melvin joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed aboard the U.S.S. LaSalle, a transport ship which capsized near Coos Bay, OR during a heavy storm. Melvin was saved from the ocean waters, and sent a telegram home, saying "Ship sank, I didn't," according to a story in the Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review.

Lillian's name was printed in the Spokesman-Review in July 1953 when she assisted with preparations for a wedding reception for Wilma Morene Gaston and William J. Jobb, held at Ohme Gardens near Wenatchee.

Alfred and Lillian celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1963, attended by their children and grandchildren.


Above: Lillian in the Wenatchee Daily World, 1972. Below: 50th anniversary


After a long life of hard, outdoor work, Alfred passed away in May 1965, at the age of 77.

Lillian outlived him by nearly two decades. 

She died in Wenatchee in January 1983.


Alfred with five of his grandchildren



Arlington National Cemetery

~ Son Leland Alfred "Lee" Younkin ~

Son Leland Alfred "Lee" Younkin (1919-2011) was born on Aug. 11, 1919 in Washington State. As an infant, he and his parents returned for an extended stay with his mother's parents in Deerfield, Portage County, OH. They later returned to Washington.

Leland studied at Washington State College in Pullman.

During World War II, Leland piloted a B-24 bomber with the15th U.S. Army Air Force Liberator group. He is known to have been based in Italy in June 1944, when he wrote a letter home to his parents about his promotion to major. During his wartime service, he flew 100 missions over enemy territory and received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 11 oak leaf clusters representing gallantry while in action.

On Jan. 12, 1945, while in the states, Leland was united in marriage with Mildred Ann "Milliane" Clarke ( ? - ? ). She was the daughter of Harry F. Clark of Santa Monica, CA and had studied at Santa Monica City College. News of their engagement was printed in the Los Angeles Times, and the wedding nuptials were held in her parents' home.

In about 1961, he served as a lieutenant colonel and wing operations officer in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Webb Air Force Base near what today is Big Spring in West Texas.


Milliane and Leland, World War II era

Later, Leland was wedded to Jane Ellen Phillips (1937-2011), a native of Benton, IL and the daughter of James F. and Nellie (Alexander) Phillips and step-daughter of Ethel Alexander.

They produced two sons -- Leland Alfred Younkin Jr. and James Younkin.

They made their home in 1999 in Danville, Contra Costa County, CA. They were members of the Community Presbyterian church, where Jane Ellen sang in the choir.

Jane Ellen died on Jan. 13, 2011. Burial was in Arlington National Cemetery. Reported the Contra Costa Times, "She was an amazing mother and friend to all who were blessed with knowing her. She had a warm heart and positive, loving spirit. Her hobbies included cooking, upholstery, traveling and spending time with her family.

Leland passed away 11 months later on Dec. 29, 2011. His remains were shipped east to Washington, DC for interment in Arlington National Cemetery. [Section 55, Grave 3044] Their marker, inscribed on front and back, was photographed by the founder of this website in July 2016.

Son Leland Alfred Younkin Jr. resided in Fairfield, CA.

Son James Younkin married Asha and lived in Sacramento.


Mel Younkin
Courtesy Sue Snow

~ Son James Melvin Younkin Sr. ~

Son James Melvin Younkin Sr. (1921-1999) was born on the Fourth of July 1921 in Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington.

Melvin served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

After his military service ended, he returned home. In 1945, he wedded Carrie "Valena" Hansen (March 4, 1925-2019), a native of Goshen. UT and the daughter of Ray and Pearl Hanse.

The couple bore a family of children -- Diana Burnell Egan, James Melvin Younkin Jr., David Arthur Younkin and Mark Edward Younkin. 

They belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Melvin took over the orchard business in about 1946 and operated it until 1987. He was pictured in front of the Younkin Warehouse in a 1965 article in the Wenatchee Daily World, seen here. Said a local newspaper, he "was a member of the American Legion, and was a past Grand Chef of du Washington 40 & 8. He was a past commander of Post 10, and a member of the VFW and was the Ninth District Commander. At the American Legion, Mel ran the Bingo for 16 years, and also one of his most enjoyable activities was serving as the Oratoracle Chairman for 20 years." He enjoyed Boy Scouts activity, fishing, traveling and woodworking.


Above: Valena and the children relaxing at the ocean. Below: daughter Diana in the Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival, circa 1965, the float designed by Valena.


Mel Younkin

He and Valena divorced in 1970. He married again on May 15, 1971 to Sandy Leah (Draper) Tripp (1928-2014). She was the daughter of Zira and Elsie Draper and a native of Provo, UT. Sandy had been married before and brought two daughters to the marriage -- Elsie Fay Johnson and Martha "Marty" Stierlen.

Valena also married again to Robert Duvall (1924-2009), son of Guy and Frances (Nelson) Duvall of Everett, WA. Their nuptials were held on June 20, 1972 in the Los Angeles Temple of the LDS Church. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and a salesman for Goodyear Tires and Bowman Distribution. He had been married before and brought these children to the second union -- Rob Duvall of Edmonds, Jeannie Stockman, Kathy Smith, Connie Murray and Becky Shockley. They made their home in Wenatchee. Robert passed away at the age of 85 on Nov. 23, 2009. Valena outlived him by a decade and spent her final six years in Springville, UT to be near her son Jim. In 2010, she married a high school classmate, William Wignall, in a ceremony held in Wignall. Valena was swept away by the Angel of Death on May 2, 2019. Burial was in Goshen Cemetery in or near Provo, with an obituary appearing in the Provo Daily Herald.

In 1998, Melvin's children and grandchildren printed his memoirs in a a family booklet, World War II Through a Porthole, which is republished on this website.

Mel died on Jan. 12, 1999, at the age of 78. Burial was in the Wenatchee Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave] He was survived by 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Sandy survived her husband by 15 years. She passed away on Aug. 27, 2014 at Avalon Adult Care Home in East Wenatchee.


Diana Sue Younkin

Daughter Diana Sue (Younkin) Burnell Egan (1948-2006) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1948 in Wenatchee, Chelan County, WA. In 1969, at the age of 21, she was joined in matrimony with 30-year-old Peter Edwin Burnell (Nov. 27, 1938-1990). The wedding was held in Los Angeles. Together, they bore these children -- Charles Anthony Fannan, Jeffrey Edward Burnell. Brandon Michael Burnell. Trisha Dawn Rutherford, Kelli Patrick Burnell and Ryan James Burnell. The Burnells first resided in Gardena, CA. In 1974, they relocated to Salem, OR. After a divorce in January 1983, she wedded again to Jeffrey Egan ( ? - ? ). The couple's only child was Elizabeth Ann "Libby" Egan. The Egans resided in Salem. In 1989, she received her bachelor of arts degree from Wilamette University and went on to a career as a substitute teacher in secondary schools in the Salem area. Diana was deeply interested in preserving the family's heritage and was the chief organizer of the Younkin Reunion-West held in Turner, OR in 1996-1998 and 2000. She also attended the Younkin Reunion-East in 1992 and 1996 with her brother and daughter. Sadly, Diana passed away after a long battle with cancer on May 27, 2006. Interment was in the Campbell-Grier Cemetery in Stayton, Marion County, OR. Former husband Peter Burnell died at the age of 51 on May 4, 1990 in Marion County, OR, with burial in Aumsville Cemetery.

  • Grandson Charles Anthony Fannan dwelled in Fairfield, CA in 2004.
  • Grandson Jeffrey Edward Burnell resided circa 2004 in Salem, OR.
  • Grandson Brandon Michael "Brady" Burnell (1972-2004) was born on June 1, 1972 in Gardena, CA. At the age of two he relocated with his parents to Salem, OR. He was a 1990 graduate of Cascade High School and, from 1991 to 1993, served on a Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Budapest, Hungary. At the age of 22, on Aug. 12, 1994, he entered into marriage with Brandy Lee Walhood ( ? - ? ). Their nuptials were held in the LDS Temple in Portland, OR. The pair bore three sons -- Zachary Ryan Burnell, Jacob Riley Burnell and Joshua Michael Burnell. He received a degree in landscape architecture in 1996 from the University of Oregon. As free spirits, the couple chose to bypass his commencement ceremony, sell their automobile and purchased camping gear, a tandem bicycle and airline tickets. They then toured for seven weeks in Europe, spending time with friends in Romania and Hungary. Upon their return to the United States, the couple settled in Beaverton, OR. Brandon was employed for eight years with W&H Pacific in Beaverton, OR, and held a membership in the American Society of Landscape Architects. In his free time, he liked to climb rocks, raft, mountaineer, bicycle, rowing, ski crosscountry, perform home remodeling, tinker with Volkswagens and spend time at the family beach-house. Among his projects were building a three-story climbing wall, zip line and sandbox for his children and installing underground sprinklers and cabinets. The family grieved when, in about 2002, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. After two years of suffering, he died at the age of 32 on Sept. 22, 2004. Interment of the remains was in Portland's Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. An obituary in the Portland Oregonian said that "Brady was active in his church and especially enjoyed working with young people. Brady approached every endeavor in his life - family, church, work, and human interaction - with dedication, perserverance, and honor.."
  • Granddaughter Trisha Dawn Rutherford ( ? -living) received her education at Linville College. She student-taught teaching elementary school in Oregon circa 1997 and more recently in Aumsville Elementary School. She was united in matrimony with Ted Rutherford ( ? -living).
  • Granddaughter Kelli Patrick Burnell relocated to San Marcos, CA.
  • Grandson Ryan James Burnell migrated to Utah and put down roots in Provo.
  • Granddaughter Elizabeth Ann "Libby Lee" Egan is a 2008 alumna of Brigham Young University. Circa 2011-2012, she was a graphic designer for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Today she resides in the Oakland, CA area and has been a website and graphic designer for the Sierra Club. Active in the community, she serves as a commissioner of the Housing Advisory Commission and Measure O raises funds for affordable housing for the City of Berkeley, CA. She also is a co-founder and co-lead organizer for North Berkeley Now!


Above: Younkin Reunion West, Salem, OR - Diana in red top, back row. Below: Diana and her brother Jim at the 1992 Younkin Reunion East with the founder of this website, and with daughter Tricia at the 1996 Reunion East, Kingwood, PA..



James Melvin Younkin Jr. and his compressed natural gas fuel advertising

Son James Melvin "Jim" Younkin Jr. ( ? -living) is a graduate of Ricks College in Resburg, ID. He has been married and with his first wife Eileen Louise Anderson ( ? - ? ) produced had a family of children, including James Younkin, Courtney Younkin, Christopher Younkin, Alex Younkin, Kathy Ransom and Colin Robson Younkin. On Feb. 9, 2012, he wedded his second bride, Debbie ( ? -living). She brought six of her own children into the second marriage -- Coriantumr, Naomi, Joshua, Rebekah, John Peter and Angela. Jim has attended Younkin Reunions in Kingwood, Somerset County, PA and Salem, OR. With an adventurous spirit, he has been a mountain climber among other talents, and has displayed some of his photos on his own website. Jim is proprietor of Mapleton Automotive, and is a specialist in the maintenance of imported automobiles, with expertise in compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel systems.

  • Grandson James Younkin
  • Granddaughter Courtney Younkin
  • Grandson Christopher Younkin
  • Granddaughter Kathy Younkin was born in or around East Wenatchee, WA. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Ransom
  • Grandson Alex Younkin has made his home in Salt Lake City.
  • Grandson Colin Robson Younkin (1983-2021) was born on May 9, 1983 in Provo, UT. He grew up in Wenatchee where he attended Eastmont High School, active in drama and learning Japanese. Later, he received his general equivalency diploma from Wenatchee Valley College. He never married and used the feminine alias "Ashley Corinne." An obituary said he was quiet but "expressed himself vibrantly. He was an avid and creative writer, film creator, and philosopher. He was also musically skilled, especially when accompanied by his older brothers. He enjoyed sharing laughter, tears, and emotions with those close to him." In 2021, he resided with his father and stepmother at the age of 38 in Springville, UT. On the fateful and tragic day of June 1, 2021, while rushing to catch a bus, he tried to cross a railroad track near his home which he had done hundreds of times before. This time, while crossing on an angle, he was struck and thrown, instantly killed by a 150,000-ton coal train moving at 40 miles per hour. A news story in the Provo (UT) Daily Herald quoted a police officer, saying that as Colin was crossing “There was a train coming, the lights were flashing, the crossing arms were down, and there were a couple of cars stopped for the train on both sides of the tracks... He didn’t quite make it all of the way..." His memorial service was held in Springville.

Son David Arthur Younkin married Glenna. He resided in Wenatchee in 1999 and in Cashmere, Chelan County in 2013.

Son Mark Edward Younkin made his home in 1999 in Los Angeles and in 2013 in Simi Valley, CA.


~ Son Harold "Raymond" Younkin ~

Son Harold "Raymond" Younkin (1928-1995) was born on Feb. 19, 1928 in Wenatchee, Chelan County. 

On Dec. 7, 1948, at the age of 20, he married Berdena Shell ( ? - ? ), a resident of Omak, WA. News of their marriage license application was published in the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper.

He is believed to have died in Cashmere, Chelan County on March 15, 1995, at the age of 67. 

Nothing more is known.


Copyright 2000-2001, 2005-2006, 2008-2009, 2016, 2019, 2021 Mark A. Miner