Frederick H. Yehl
unknown - January 28, 2012
Frederick H. Yehl, of Skaneateles, died Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, after a brief illness at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.
Born Feb. 3, 1918, in Allegany, N.Y., Fred was the son of the late Alfonse and Elise (Sturm) Yehl. On April 19, 1946, he married the former Hilda Schoger in Cleveland, OH. Fred and Hilda were happily married for more than 48 years, until her death on Aug. 6, 1994.
Mr. Yehl was a graduate of Allegany High School, Alfred University, Cleveland Institute of Art and Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
Fred studied Ceramic Art at Alfred University, and Decorative and Industrial Design at the Cleveland Institute of Art. While in Cleveland, he did display work at the Cleveland Museum of Health and product design for the Schuler Baby Walker Company. He taught design, illustration, advertising, modeling and water color for four years at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute, and also received a degree in Applied Arts from that same institution.
During WWII, Fred served with distinction in the Philippines and other areas of the Pacific Theater.
From 1952 to 1957 he designed for the Fostoria Glass Company in West Virginia, designing table glassware and accessories. In 1957, he began work for Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) designing wall accessories until his retirement. He also did freelance work for Adirondack Wood Products, Inc.
Fred was an accomplished artist and painter. He designed and built much of the furniture in his home. He worked in many mediums, including sculpture, stone, glass, ink and paint. He did ink and tempura paintings for more than 60 years, continuing to paint until his death. Over his career, he did several hundreds of paintings. He designed and painted after work, evenings and weekends, not for commercial success, but merely “for the fun of it”. His paintings included a wide variety of subjects, from landscapes of central New York, to nature, flowers and trees, as well as series such as Alice in Wonderland, Aesop’s Fables and The Twelve Days of Christmas. He held several art exhibits throughout his career, including Wells College in Aurora, NY, two exhibits at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY, and multiple exhibits at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, NY, including his most recent exhibit, Fred Yehl: A Retrospective ( from Aug. 28-Oct. 17, 2010 ). Fred also instructed art classes for seniors at Skaneateles Community Center.
In a quote from then Wells College Associate Professor of Art, William Roberts, at the time of Fred’s first public art exhibit at Wells College in the fall of 1983, “The complexity of (Mr. Yehl’s) tempura masterpieces is awesome…one is reminded of Dubuffet, Jimmy Ernst or the intricacies of Seurat.”
In addition to painting and art, Fred loved nature, gardening, his cats and playing chess. He was known for his humble character, his warm heart, his many stories and sayings such as, “Behave…it’s cheaper that way”.
He is survived by three nephews: Stephen M Yehl, Richard M (Sue) Yehl, both of Allegany, NY, and Joseph (Jude Ann) Yehl of Houston, TX; three nieces: Jeanne M Yehl (John Tinelli), Mary E Yehl, both of Rochester, NY, and Karen A Manzo of Olean, NY; and also by Hal and Nancy Jensen, Jane Look and many other good friends and neighbors.
In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by three brothers, twin brother Ernest Yehl, Frank Yehl and John Yehl.
The family will receive friends at a memorial service to be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Presbyterian Manor, 49 West Genesee Street, Skaneateles, NY 13152.
To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com