Fredrick Yonkman ’52

Fredrick Albers Yonkman passed away peacefully on January 9, 2020. He was 89 years old and a resident of the Riverside Cottages in St. Augustine, Florida. 

Fredrick Albers Yonkman was born August 22nd, 1930, in Holland, Michigan. His family moved to Massachusetts and then to New Jersey where he attended high school. He went to Hope College in Holland, Michigan, graduating with honors in 1952. There he played on the varsity football and track teams. He was drafted and served for two years in the United States Army Counterintelligence Corps in Germany during the Korean War. He then attended the University of Chicago law school, graduating in 1957, and was a National Honor Scholar. He later attended the School of Social Work at New York University in New York City following a program of clinical social work. 

He practiced law in Boston, Massachusetts as a partner in the law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, specializing in corporate law. He then moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. 

He served as Secretary and General Counsel to Dun & Bradstreet, a principal provider of business and financial information services domestically and abroad, based in New York City, and was a partner in the New York law firm of Winthrop Stimpson Putnam & Roberts. 

He became Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff for the American Express company with headquarters in New York City. He was responsible for strategic planning, law, government relations and real estate information systems, human resources and administration. For one year, he was informally the head of the travel related services for that company. 

He served as co-CEO for the actuarial firm Buck consultants, and was a director of Sageworks, Inc., a software company, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He was also former Chairman of Outward Bound USA, and an adjunct professor of international law at Georgetown University. 

On an independent basis, he became a management consultant in finance and law. He served on many private and not-for-profit boards including the Washington Campus where he was a director. He was also a director and Chair of the International Law Institute, a learning center in Washington DC for developing countries infrastructure programs. He was the executive director of the Asian business center at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. He also acted as the director of the Young Audiences programs in New York, which brought performing arts to city schools. He organized a shelter program for the homeless in affiliation with eight religious organizations in Brooklyn, New York. He also helped organize shelter programs for returning veterans and the homeless, and assisted with disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi and elsewhere. He also performed periodic work as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and served as night manager at a shelter for adults in St. Augustine, Florida for several years. 

Fredrick was married to Kathleen Ver Meulen in 1954 and has three daughters, Sarah, Margriet and Nina, all of whom live in Connecticut. He was divorced from Kathleen and later married Barbara Sullivan of Washington, DC, with whom he had a fourth child, Fredrick Ryan Yonkman. Ryan is now a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy, stationed in Pasadena, California, flying helicopters for the Vice Admiral of the Pacific. Each of his three daughters has one child and his son has three, so he has six grandchildren. 

In 1998, he married Jewel Humphrey Grutman, a friend from high school days in Madison, New Jersey, and also an attorney. They lived in Stamford, Connecticut, and New York City until they moved permanently to St. Augustine, Florida, in 2010 where Frederick served as Vice-Chair for the St. Johns County Democratic Executive Committee, was on the Advisory Board of the Ponte Vedra High School Academies Program, a Mentor for Southwood Elementary School, a member of the Hastings Rotary Club and a member of the South Anastasia Communities Association.

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