Judge Yonts was born in Seattle, Washington, raised in California, and graduated from Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in English at Santa Clara University in 1963. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the US Army and was a lieutenant stationed with the 7th US Calvary in Germany. Judge Yonts was very proud of his duties in the army, and shared his many fond memories with family and friends.
Following his military service, he earned his Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law. His successful private law practice in Santa Cruz led him to an appointment as a Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County. Practicing for more than 16 years, Judge Yonts leaves many dear colleagues who will miss his leadership and generosity. Upon retirement from the bench he remained involved in numerous civic activities and organizations including JAMS, CASA, and the Santa Cruz Rotary Club. He was member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Capitola, and enjoyed numerous activities with family and friends.
He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Bjorg Yonts, his brother, John Yonts, and his wonderful children: Melissa Yonts George (children-Jessica, Timothy, and Christina), Christopher Yonts (William and Emily), Robert B. Yonts III, Carole White (Lizzie, Jimmy, and Stephanie), Rebecca Brown (Evan, David, and Erin), John Bridges (Kristen and Alex), Mike Bridges (Deanna, Scott, Corinne, Jessica, Paul, Fernando, Terryol, Dustin, Tyler, Junior, and Carlos), Lise Rowe (Kyndra and Bjorg), and David Bridges, 23 great grandchildren and his cat Contessa.
Judge Yonts was preceded in death by his son by marriage Geir Olsen in 2009 who left him and Bjorg the joyful gift of two grandsons, Nico and Quinn.