Wally and "Sweet Rose" through the years...


Wally's Keepsake

Wally kept this picture of Rose in his wallet for most of their lives together. It was in his wallet until I removed it and took photos of it after his passing.




February 29, 2016


Walter Edward Yocum, Jr.
January 20, 1934 - February 29, 2016

Obiturary Text:

Walter "Wally" Edward Yocum, Jr. departed this life Monday, February 29, 2016, surrounded by family in Dover, Delaware. He was 82. Wally was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1934 to Evelyn and Walter Yocum. He married Rose Ann Portaro in 1955. He will always be remembered by his love for his family, his sense of humor, and his service to his country. Wally entered the United States Air Force after high school. By 1953, he was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. There, he spent time on B-26 bomber maintenance and learned jet engines. Shortly thereafter, he was deployed to Korea as part of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing (Far East Air Force), 336th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, known as the world famous "Rocketeers." While in Korea, Wally was assigned as the crew chief of the North American F-86 Sabre 52-4539, FU-539, which he quickly named "Sweet Rose" after his sweetheart back home, Rose Portaro. Two years later, he was reassigned to Misawa Air Base in Japan and then was stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where he would begin to make a life with Rose. From 1955 to 1993, Wally worked at Dover Air Force Base, maintaining fighter aircraft and eventually one of the largest military planes in the world, the Lockheed C-5A Galaxy. Wally was honored by the 336th at Seymour Johnson in 2014, decaling an F-15E Eagle with his name on the cockpit, "Cc Wally Yocum," and, of course, "Sweet Rose" on the nose.
During his time of service, Wally received four medals: the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. (Wally was awarded his fifth medal - the Republic of Korea Service Medal after his passing in late 2017)




Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery 2015

A visit with "Sweet Rose".

April 17, 2015




April 7, 2014


Rose Ann Yocum
October 24, 1934 - April 7, 2014

Obiturary Text:

Rose Ann Yocum, departed this life Monday, April 7, at her home in Dover, Delaware. She was 79. Rose was born in Pennsylvania in1934 to Saverio and Angelina Portaro. She married Walter Edward Yocum Jr. in 1955. She will always be remembered by her love for her family and by her generosity toward others. Rose enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, taking walks with her husband, and tending the flowers at her church. Rose always looked after the people in her life, even when her own need was great. Along the way, she touched many lives with her devotion and her strength.




Personal Calendar 2013

Despite my moms stresses of living with cancer treatments and bills, she always showed the most respect and love for Wally. She always looked over family more than herself. My mom used to buy calendars at the Country Petaller every year. She and Wally would go and spend a day shopping and eating near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Chester, Maryland). Even after my mothers passing, I would take my father on a trip in the Fall to pick up a new calendar (was his tradition with her). We would do a little walk on a trail nearby and eat at the Fisherman's Inn.




50th Anniversary Newspaper Article



50th Anniversary Poem



50th Anniversary 2005

The family held a surprise 50th Anniversary for Wally and Rose.

Maple Dale Country Club, Dover, Delaware

November 2005




St. Polycarps Church, Smyrna, Delaware



DHCI, Smyrna, Delaware



Various Photos



Children - 4 Boys

Picture order: Eric, Steve, Tom, Ken

Ken Yocum

Steven Yocum (1960-1992) Memorial Webpage

Thomas Yocum

Eric Yocum




Honeymoon 1955

Honeymoon - Niagara Falls

The black and white photos are from November 1955. In August of 1992, they returned to Niagara Falls. Wally and Rose are standing by the fountain that Wally was sitting on back in 1955.




Wedding November 5, 1955

Photos of their wedding.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Pennsylvania

November 5, 1955



1953 - 1954

Wally started his Air Force training in 1952. He went to Sampson AB, Amarillo AB, Shaw AB and then off Japan and Korea. As crew chief, his love for Rose ended up on the nose of his F-86F - 'Sweet Rose'. He also had an oil painting made for her during his stay. Wally returned to the United States early 1955.




Circa 1952

And so they met in Pennsylvania, living 3.4 miles away from each other...





Rose was born on October 24, 1934. She lived in Marion Heights, Pennsylvania.

Wally was born on January 20, 1934 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He moved to Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania at a young age.





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