Kwang Sup Yum II (also known as “Kaye”), of Concord, CA, passed away at 81 years old after a long battle with diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Kaye was born in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of Treva Louise Grossnickle (1909 - 2000) and Kwang Sup Yum I (1897 - 1975). Kaye attended grade school at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. After one year at Fenger High School in Chicago, Kaye studied for three years of prep school on an academic scholarship at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Kaye graduated in 1962 from Harvard University in Cambridge, MA on an academic scholarship, with an A.B. (Latin for Bachelor of Arts) in Physical Sciences, specializing in mathematics and general engineering.
Conversations with classmates at Harvard who were members of the campus Naval Reserve Officer Training Core (NROTC), led Kaye to consider serving his country in the U.S. Navy. Kaye applied for Aviation Officer Candidate School and was commissioned in 1962. Beginning his naval aviation career as an A-4 Skyhawk pilot, Kaye served in the Navy for a total of six years, including two tours in Vietnam flying dangerous but critical missions launched from two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, and one year as a naval test pilot at Naval Air Station (NAS) Alameda, CA. Kaye was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant in 1968.
Following the end of his military career, Kaye was hired as a pilot by United Airlines and originally based out of San Francisco International Airport, then transferred to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and finally based out of San Francisco again. Kaye was known as an exceptional pilot, always studying to stay current on his assigned aircraft, and remaining cool under pressure in any emergency. He flew the Boeing (B) 727, B737, B747, B757, B767, McDonnell Douglas Commercial (DC) 8, and DC10 aircraft, and retired after 32 years as a United Airlines Captain. While approaching the sundown of his career, he was often selected to fly with newly-hired pilots, including some of United’s first women pilots, to further instruct and mentor them.
Kaye married his first wife Diana Sue Stinnett (now Diana Sue Yum-Bucher) at Alameda, CA, in 1966. Their daughter Sunhi was born in 1969. The family moved to Schaumburg, IL in 1970, and the marriage ended in 1978.
In 1978, Kaye married his second and forever wife Maria Anna Bondon of Park Ridge, Illinois (formerly Maria Anna Mikel of Austria) with her seven-year-old son, the late John Michael Bondon.
Kaye and Maria’s long marriage of 43 years is a testament to their enduring love, and to their respect for each other’s independence. Kaye was an avid tennis player and enjoyed supporting his wife with her coaching tasks for Carondelet High School. He was a loving and inspirational husband, father and grandfather, and a friend to many. In his final years, per his wishes, Kaye was cared for in his own home by Maria, who was honored to have the ability to help him in the final stages of his journey with us.
Kaye is survived by his loving wife Maria Yum of Concord, daughter Sunhi Garber and her husband Torsten Garber of Thousand Oaks, daughter-in-law Prachi Bondon of Concord, and five grandchildren Ryon Adams, Keilani Adams, Kelton Garber, Liora Bondon, and Inara Bondon. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 10 AM at Oakmont Memorial Park & Mortuary, in Lafayette, CA.
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