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Wednesday, November 13, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Abe Yourist, Former Wrestling Star And Professional Football Player

Abe Yourist of Seattle died last week at the age of 81, but the former football and wrestling star was one of those rare people who achieve a sort of immortality early in life.

As he graduated from high school in 1928 in Toledo, Ohio, the school's yearbook noted his departure, referring to him by his nickname, Bub:

"For 4 years, Bub was a mainstay on the Woodward (High School) line," the annual said. "A tower of strength on the defense and a power on the offense. Abe's shoes will be hard to fill next year."

Today, friends and relatives gather at Evergreen-Washelli Funeral Home, and their thoughts will parallel those thoughts expressed by the school yearbook more than six decades ago - that Abe Yourist will be missed.

"He had a tremendous life," his widow, Irene, said yesterday. "He was shy and never liked to talk much about himself, but he was very strong, proud and quiet."

Sol Yourist of Pompano Beach, Florida, remembers his older brother as a local hero. "He was a very strong man. . . . I always looked up to him."

Born and reared in Toledo, Mr. Yourist attending Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1932.

He played four sports in college and was recently inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame.

For several years, Mr. Yourist played professional football, playing offensive and defensive end with some teams that no longer exist, and with the Chicago Bears.

After football, he went into professional wrestling, which took him to competitions around the world.

At 6-foot-2 and weighing 250 pounds during his wrestling days, he constantly worked with weights to increase his size and strength.

Even in later life and after he developed lung disease last year, "he kept his dumbbells right in front of the coffee table and he'd lift those to keep up his strength," his wife recalled.

The Yourists were married in 1937 and moved to Seattle in 1948.

In this area, Mr. Yourist worked frequently as a wrestling referee. He also worked for 22 years for the Fentron Aluminum Sash Co., retiring in the mid-1960s.

In addition to his widow and brother, Mr. Yourist's survivors include another brother, Leo Yourist, and a sister, Sylvia Golden, both of Toledo; a son, Harry, and daughter, Sharon Webb, both of Seattle; and four grandchildren.

The family suggests remembrances be sent to Medic One.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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