Harry Estile Yerkes III, of New York and Fishers Island, died peacefully at home on May 15. He was 83.
Born in Scranton, Penn., Yerkes graduated from Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, N.J. and served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946 as a counterintelligence Japanese language interpreter.
At Princeton University, he majored in politics, played squash, performed with Theater Intime and the Triangle Club, and was voted “Funniest Man in the Class.” Yerkes was president of Quadrangle Club and served on the Tiger Magazine Editorial Board. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in the class of 1948.
His career began at Marsh & McLennan in New York. In 1979, he formed an insurance brokerage firm specializing in ocean marine insurance and reinsurance, H. E. Yerkes and Associates. He retired in 2004. With his wife Nancy, Yerkes sang with the Blue Hill Troupe, and on Fishers Island, played tennis and golf. He belonged to the Union Club, Downtown Association, Hay Harbor Club and Fishers Island Club.
Until the mid-1960s, Yerkes played competitive squash for the Downtown Athletic Club on its “A” team. A newspaper reporter once asked him, to what did he attribute his rapid ascent in the league? “Being the last man to hit the ball back,” he replied.
Harry Yerkes was predeceased by his son, J. Nicholas Yerkes and is survived by his wife Nancy Spofford Yerkes, children Elizabeth Tyson Yerkes, Harry Estile Yerkes IV, Nathalie Yerkes George, and 12 grandchildren.
Friends may call Tuesday, May 18, 2010, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Frank E. Campbell, 1076 Madison Ave. (at 81st St.) New York, NY. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, May 19, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church, 65 E. 89th St., New York NY.