Francis A. Yeandel, retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force, ND professor emeritus of management and former assistant dean in the College of Business Administration, died January 9 at the age of 90.
Notre Dame marketing professor Robert Drevs, who worked with Yeandel in the 1970s and was friends with him until his death, called Yeandel "one of the most generous men I’ve ever known.” He was also, perhaps inadvertently, a matchmaker of ND and Saint Mary’s students.
Yeandel attended high school in Long Island, New York, and received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California. He and a friend later opened several Manhattan bars and restaurants, which they operated until 1940, when he was drafted.
Yeandel was released from military services in 1946 and returned to the hospitality business until 1950, when he was once again called to military service. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Temple University and a doctorate in education from Notre Dame.
From 1963 to ’66, Yeandel taught ROTC at Notre Dame. The next year he was stationed in Mainz-Kotel, Germany, where he served from 1967 to 1969. That year Frank retired from the military and returned to Notre Dame, where he served as the assistant dean in the College of Business Administration and also taught management classes. Additionally, he taught business management classes at Saint Mary’s College until he retired in 1989.
Yeandel often socially combined his Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s classes, Drevs noted, by hosting dinner parties for Notre Dame MBA students and Saint Mary’s business students to acquaint the two groups. “A number of people from those parties even got married later on,” Drevs said. Even while assistant dean, Yeandel still hosted his renowned parties and remained an active entertainer until late in life.
Although a graduated Trojan, Yeandel’s loyalties remained with Notre Dame, and he and his wife hosted tailgate parties well into his later years as well. A “man of the South Bend area,” Yeandel established scholarships at Saint Mary’s and Indiana University South Bend, where his wife later took classes. Even after his retirement from teaching, Yeandel remained active with SCORE, the Senior Council of Retired Executives, working as a consultant.
“He was always very involved . . . he couldn’t really retire,” Drevs recounted. “It was the same way he couldn’t really retire from the military. He always had two or three careers going on at the same time.”
During his retirement years, Yeandel and his wife took an annual month-long vacation to Florida. The two were active parishioners at the Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame and also attended Mass at the chapel at Holy Cross College. Yeandel’s funeral was held at the basilica, and he is buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery. He is survived by his sons Orion, Victor and Yale, and was preceded in death by his wife Florence (Flo), who died in 2002, and his daughter, Dianne, who died in 1993.