February 1915 – August 2014
Ephraim Yohannan was born to Assyrian Christian parents in Golpashian, Urmia, Iran to Absalom Yohannan and Hannah Joseph. His mother was a teacher. His father managed the family farm. He was the oldest of three sons.
The massacres after World War 1 obliged his father and mother to escape with him. Many close relatives were killed during this time. They arrived in the United States in June of 1921 and settled in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
During his youth, he learned business sense by working at his uncle’s grocery store, which was the center of the neighborhood. Because he was such a responsible young man, at the age of 14, he was entrusted with many responsibilities of the store.
Ephraim attended the local public schools, graduating from high school in 1934. Through the encouragement of one of his teachers, he pursued a college education. During the school year he worked at the college library. During summer vacations he worked at the General Baking Co. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from New Jersey State Teachers College, Trenton, in 1938. He completed his graduate work at Columbia University receiving his Masters’ Degree in 1947.
Upon graduation he went to work for the General Baking Co. until called in the spring of 1939 to work for the Elizabeth Board of Education. Teachers were abundant during this time, his first goal was to be a Social Studies teacher like Carolyn Davis, but was to be veered into another career.
In June of 1942 the most important event in his life occurred. He married the love of his life, Rose Byrnes.
He worked as assistant to the director of Guidance and upon completing his Psychological and Guidance credential at Columbia University, in October of 1940, he was appointed Guidance Counselor at Jefferson High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, his alma mater. In 1949 he was elected to the Academic Honor Society of Phi Beta Kappa at Columbia University Beta Chapter.
In April of 1941 he entered the U.S. Army. After 30 days of basic training he was transferred to the classification section. He completed Adjutant General Officer training and was appointed as a 2nd Lieutenant in April of 1943. He was elected into the American Psychological Association in 1945 based on published Army psychological research.
Ephraim was assigned to the Army Special Training Unit as a psychologist. He was separated from the Army in September of 1946. He was then recalled as a psychologist to the Army reserve Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.
He retired from the Army Reserves as a Captain in February 1975. He was a guidance counselor at Edison High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, vice-principal at Hamilton Junior High School and principal at William Penn #11. After 37 years in education Ephraim retired from Elizabeth Board of Education as a Principal in 1979.
In 1979 Ephraim and his loving wife Rose moved to Turlock, CA. Here they enjoyed the love and care of their ranch, located on Daubenberger Road. Ephraim, in memory of his wife Rose, a first grade teacher, established the Rose B. Yohannon Tuition Assistance Scholarship at Sacred Heart School in Turlock and gave a generous donation to St. Patrick’s Elementary and High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. It should be noted that Ephraim is a Presbyterian, yet his giving was in honor of his wife. He considered himself extremely fortunate for the blessings in his life. He had an abundance of friends from many different backgrounds and religious belief.
For over 55 years he was active in the American Legion and served as Commander. He was a member of the 40/9 Voiture 65. He was a Life Member of the American Education Assn. and a member of the Turlock SIR Chapter 143.
Ephraim was predeceased by his brother John in 2012. He is survived by his brother James, of Turlock. He will be fondly remembered for his humor, sound business sense, loyalty to those he loved and his generosity to children and mankind. Memorial Gifts may be considered for the Turlock American Legion Rex Ish Post 88.
Visitation will be at Allen Mortuary on Thursday, Aug. 21st at 10 am. Funeral Service will follow at 11 am. Burial with Military Honors are scheduled at Turlock Memorial Park following the Service. Please leave memories and condolences at www.allenmortuary.com.