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Joseph Williamson Yerger, 1940-2023



Joseph Williamson Yerger

Dr. Joseph Williamson Yerger DDS died peacefully at home in Tallulah, Louisiana on August 4, 2023. Born September 4, 1940, in Vicksburg, Mississippi to Josephine (Williamson) and Maxwell Yerger, he resided in Madison Parish for the duration of his life.

He attended Sewanee Military Academy in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he met his close friend Thurman “Chip” Cecil. He lettered on the varsity baseball team at Sewanee, then returned to Tallulah High School his senior year when persuaded by his Tallulah pal Simeon Wall, that they would win the 1957 state football championship. His high school football number “27” would be a favorite number the rest of his life.

He graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge in 1962, where he was a member of the DKE fraternity, then attended Loyola Dental school in New Orleans. In May 1965 he returned to his hometown to open his dental practice, where he remained the Tallulah dentist for over 50 years, providing dental care to all, regardless of their ability to pay. Upon retirement in May 2018, he received from Mayor Beckwith a proclamation celebrating his service to the people of Tallulah.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents Josephine and Maxwell Yerger as well as his brother Maxwell Yerger, Jr. He is survived by his beloved wife of 34 years, Barbara, and 5 daughters and 11 grandchildren: Scarlett and husband Jefferson of Shreveport (Hunter and ElizaBess), Kelly Ann of Shreveport (Maxwell), Hope and husband Adam of Boston, Massachusetts (Alanna, Nora, Cole, and Wyatt), Sophia of Metairie and husband Trey (Tanner, Hunter, and John Michael), Ann of Folsom, Louisiana (Barbara), sister Betty and husband Doug of Lafayette, and brother Robert and wife Elizabeth of Charleston.

Visitation will be held at Crothers Glenwood Funeral Home in Tallulah on August 11 from 4-6 pm, and the funeral service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tallulah on August 12 at 10am, followed by burial at Silver Cross Cemetery in Tallulah. Pallbearers will be Hunter Burgess, Tanner Burgess, Todd Burgess, Chris Friis, Jim Tucker, and Maxwell Yerger.

Known by various friends and family members as “Jo Jo,” “Papa,” and “Camp Paw Paw” (which came from his love of Lake Bruin), Joe was an avid fisherman and hunter (and especially loved his hunting camp “Skillethead” and hunting club “Club Limited.”). He was an inventor and held three patents (a duck swimming decoy, erasable labels for vcr tapes, and a tree stand safety belt for hunters). He also played tennis and golf and loved his powered parachute and traveling across the globe with friends and loved ones to hunt, explore, and live life to the fullest. Perhaps his favorite day of the year was April Fool’s Day, when he loved to play jokes and pranks on family and friends alike. A lover of dogs and birds (he could name numerous birds by their call), he especially liked flamingos, for which he named his camp at Lake Bruin. Henceforth, at every sunset family and friends will think of Joe, sitting on his deck at the camp, smoking his cigars, and smiling and telling stories as the setting sun brings him home.

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