Mike Packard submitted this note about the passing of Robert Yuell. Bob was an E-Sylum subscriber and contributor from our early days, joining October 14, 1998.
Bob was an avid collector of half cents and half cent literature who earned the nickname "The Whister" because he relished setting up half cent whist matches with other advanced half cent collectors. In a whist match, participants compared their collections variety by variety. The participants receive one point for having the variety and one point for having the better coin. The collectors with the most points was the "winner".
Generally other half cent collectors were invited to the matches to serve as judges. Often a judge would display a particularly attractive example of the variety being contested (however, no points were awarded to the judge). Bob's goal was not to be the winner (although he really enjoyed winning) but to provide the opportunity for collectors to view some outstanding half cents that they otherwise might never be able to see and hold. In a very real sense, all the participants were winners in his whist matches. His whist matches increased the enjoyment of collecting half cents for all of us who were fortunate enough to participate.
In addition to half cents, Bob had a strong interest in the history of his home town, Plainsboro, NJ, and of transportation in New Jersey's early history. He was an avid collector of photographic post cards in both these areas. He was a very active member of the Plainsboro Historical Society and Museum and was its Executive Director from 2000-7. He also enjoyed driving in road rallies and bird watching.
Bob became aware that he would probably not win his battle with lung cancer and arranged to sell his beloved half cents. The Whister Collection was sold by the Goldbergs of Los Angeles at the beginning of last September. Bob attended the sale, sad to be parting with his half cents, but enjoying knowing they were all going to appreciative homes, mostly with collectors he had been friends with for many years. His health declined rapidly after his return from Los Angeles. Bob was 74 years old.
P. Scott Rubin writes:
The hobby lost a friend last Sunday (Ocober.30) when Bob Yuell. an avid Half Cent collector and bibliomaniac of literature related to Half Cents (especially any sale where coins he owned were sold), passed away after a lengthy illness.
He may be best known for taking part in many of EAC's Half Cent Whist matches. So much so that when he recently sold his collection by Ira & Larry Goldberg and McCawley-Grellman it was under the title The Whister Collection of Half Cents. His name was not mentioned in the catalogue but his picture and a preface written by Bob is included.
I don't believe Bob and I ever actually met in person. Others are invite to share their recollections with us in subsequent issues of The E-Sylum.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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