Milton Yanicks died peacefully at home in the early hours of his 87th birthday, November 4, 2020. He was born in Chicago to John and Erato Yanicks, and raised in San Francis- co and Palo Alto, CA. After graduation from Palo Alto High School, he attended the University of Washing- ton, where he majored in Education and lettered as a member of the Husky football team (1953-1955). He also was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and Oval Club, the upperclassmen’s honorary society for service to the university.
After graduating from UW in 1956, Milt served two years in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed at the U.S. Naval Air Station, in Sanford, Florida, where he was editor of the station newspaper.
After a year of graduate school at UW, Milt was hired by the Mercer Island School District in 1959 and spent his 30-year career teaching there. For 16 of those years, he taught history and philosophy at Mercer Island High School in the Humanities Block, an honors program where he stimulated his students to value independent thinking and to examine philosophical concepts new to them. Milt had a positive impact on many students’ lives, and his kindness and caring created connections with many of them that lasted long after graduation. In addition to teaching, he also served as head wrestling coach and assistant football coach for the high school. He felt especially fortunate to have lived and studied in Cambridge, England, during a year of sabbatical leave, from 1978 to 1979.
Milt married Storm Jobs Culbertson in 1984. They valued a number of trips to England, Scotland, and France together. After retiring in 1989, Milt enjoyed reading, gardening, lap swimming, a men’s exercise class, and membership in a book club. He was also a member of the Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, Mercer Island Lions Club, and The Wranglers, a men’s discussion group.
Milt is survived by his wife Storm, his stepson James Culbertson (Nan Hammett), stepdaughter Julie Culbertson (Thom Sanborn), his brother Plato Yanicks (Marilyn), and his niece Karel Yanicks. He was preceded in death by stepson Jeff Culbertson. Milt’s was a life well lived. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and former students.
Donations in Milt’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Center for Philosophy for Children at the University of Washington. A memorial service will be held at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church at a later date when it is safe to do so.