Donald Herman Yolish passed away on Monday, January 18th, 2021. He was 86 years old. Don was born and raised in Hartford, CT, the eldest son of Russian immigrants, Miriam Katz Yolish and Simon Yolish. He grew up a devout Jew and decided to pursue the profession of his father, graduating from UConn’s School of Pharmacy in 1959. Don went on to own and operate three pharmacies in Hartford’s North End, employing dozens and serving countless others, over four decades. He was a proud pharmacist, small business owner, and Hartford community leader. Don cherished those memories his entire life.
Don loved UConn hoops, the Boston Red Sox, classic jazz music and Seinfeld reruns. He had an affinity for gambling. Whether it be the stock market, trips to Atlantic City, poker with buddies, bridge with his wife, or gin rummy and backgammon with his children (“a penny a point”), he loved the action. He was the king of one liners, quick with his wit, always good for a laugh, and reliable for incredibly corny (and incredibly outdated) bad yet hilarious jokes. He was a towering 6’5″ gentle giant, with a deep soothing voice, that could make anyone smile.
Upon retirement in 2000, Don and his beloved wife Jean moved on from Avon, CT and settled in two of their favorite places: Nantucket, MA and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They spent the final quarter of his life enjoying time with their friends and family in both locations. Don liked to keep busy. Well into retirement on Nantucket, you could find him working at the pharmacy, as well as volunteering at the senior center and the library. For a retired octogenarian, Don somehow had endless amounts of bookwork and never enough time to do it. He was an avid reader, his favorite material being the latest spy thriller and The Courant obits.
Donald was a fighter. He beat Lymphoma, and several heart attacks, but he never gave up on life, and always brought joy to those around him. Donald’s family could not be more proud of his life, love and legacy. While Don will be greatly missed, we can go forward knowing he is at peace.
He is survived by his wife Jean Yolish (of Nantucket, MA), brother Norman Yolish (of Shelton, CT), sister Joan Yolish Handler (of Simsbury, CT), his five children and seven grandchildren.
There will be no services at this time out of respect for the safety of those who Donald loved and left behind. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Donald’s name to Temple Beth David in West Hartford, CT where Don and his parents are memorialized together.