William Fredricke Yarger

The family of William Fredricke Yarger, 75, sadly announces his unexpected death last week. The son of Janet (nee Seelig) and William Yarger, “Skip” to his family, “Bill” to his friends, was born in Evanston, Illinois on April 21, 1945, and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He was a 1963 graduate of Oakwood High School and earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from  The Ohio State University in 1968. After serving honorably as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy during the Viet Nam War, he located to St. Louis, Missouri, and earned a Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis in 1973. He remained in St. Louis and built a successful career as an architect establishing Yarger Design Group. 

Mr. Yarger became recognized nationally for his award-winning designs of recreational facilities and aquatic theme parks, which allowed him to leverage his natural creativity to design whimsical gathering places that brought joy to others. He was the recipient of numerous architectural awards and a proud member and former president of the American Institute of Architects for both its Missouri and St. Louis chapters. Mr. Yarger is survived by his brothers, Dr. Richard J. Yarger (Barbara) of Yakima, WA, Mr. Rodney R. Yarger (Stacey) of Dayton, OH, nieces and nephews, Amy Yarger of Yakima, WA, David Yarger of Oregon, Fred (Katie) Yarger of Denver, CO, Stephanie Yarger (Brandon Lipford) of Arcata, CA, Hallie Nagayoshi (Liusuke) of Lakewood, IL, Heidi Yarger of Eureka, CA, as well as many great-nieces and nephews. His family and all who knew him will miss his warmth, kindness, thoughtfulness, creativity, humor, and unique energy. 

The family will hold a private memorial service in the future at Forest Park in St. Louis under the Nathan Frank Bandstand, which Mr. Yarger redesigned to restore to its former glory in 1993. For those who would like to meaningfully remember Bill, perhaps the next time you see and appreciate a beautifully-designed architectural structure, think about and look in awe at the inspirational talent and creativity behind its creation. That will certainly bring joy to the spirit of Bill’s heart.


  1. David Wilson on August 19, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Blessings to the family. I have been friend to Bill since our childhood & the only OHS class member to reside as he did in St Louis. I will miss our evenings at CJ Muggs for football watching & political discourse. Bon voyage dear friend.

  2. Elaine O'Neil on August 20, 2020 at 9:05 am

    As friends and classmates at Oakwood, we will all miss Bill’s enthusiastic leadership and humorous MC throwbacks at our reunions. I remember his warmth, essential goodness and kindness fondly, and am grateful for the good times we shared.
    Eternal peace and comfort to you, Bill, and to your family and friends.

  3. David Stone on November 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

    Bill was an informal mentor when I was a young architect, having connected through the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. I always enjoyed his insight and wit, and appreciated his willingness to occasionally share a few minutes of his time to nurture those entering the profession. May his family find peace in reflecting on his life well lived.

  4. Morris E. Fletcher, AIA Emeritis on November 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Bill was a valued supporter of the Architectural Technology Program at St. Louis Community College / Meramec during my teaching tenure. He acted as a juror for student designs and was a guest speaker for architectural discussions. He mentored students and gave them work experience in his office. In later years I worked with his firm and colobrated on designs for sports and recreation projects. He was a generous supporter and friend who will be missed by the St. Louis architectural community.

  5. Clark Davis on November 21, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    I’m saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. We were colleagues in various state and local AIA activities, and I always admired his positive outlook and creative energy. We wish Bill’s family peace and comfort in the days ahead.

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