Yestness, Steven Ray

Steven Ray (Bubba) Yestness, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)
October 28, 1950 – December 22, 2009

Lt. Col. Steven Ray Yestness, affectionately known as Bubba¸ passed away in his sleep at age 59 on Tuesday, December 22, 2009. He was born in Imperial, Nebraska on October 28th, 1950 to Don and Jane Yestness.

He often told stories of growing up in Yellowstone National Park with his parents and sister Kristi. He graduated from Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado, received multiple athletic letters, and placed 7th in the Nation in Downhill national ski competition in 1969. He majored in Military Sciences at the USAF Academy and was Captain of the Ski Team. After graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1973, he married Brenda Hanson September 1st. He attended helicopter pilot training and became an instructor himself. He commanded multiple search and rescue units and has over 200 saved lives credited to his efforts in Air Rescue Recovery Service. He earned his M.S. in Human Relations. He told his daughters this meant he had a piece of paper that said he could relate to humans. As an avid skier and all-around excellent athlete, Steve instilled both a competitive and good-sport nature in his daughters Nissa and Astrid teaching them to ski and play basketball and softball. He was often known for saying, “Been There, Done That, Got the T-shirt and the Hat.”

He is survived by wife Brenda in Colorado Springs, daughters Nissa Rae Yestness and husband Shaun in Brighton, CO and Astrid Kari Yestness and fiancé Dylan McGill in Colorado Springs, mother Jane in Windsor, CO, father Don in Arizona, sister Kristi Quinlan in Windsor, CO, mother-in-law LaVerne Hanson, sisters-in-law Carol Hanson, Kathy Hanson, brother-in-law Brian Hanson, nieces Tina Smith, Larissa Quinlan, Kimberly Hanson, Kim Smith, nephews Brent Smith, Cpl. Sean Quinlan, Matthew Hanson, 5 grandnieces and grandnephews.

Services will be held Tuesday, January 5th, 10am at the AF Academy Cemetery Memorial Pavilion. Visitation will be at Swan Law Funeral Home 5-7 pm Monday, January 4th.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Steven’s name to Liberty High School Athletics: Women’s Basketball & Softball, Disabled American Veterans, or your favorite animal rescue. Thank you to all those that loved Steven and touched his life.

Please go to and search for Yestness to see more of his biography and leave your memories and stories.

Published in The Gazette on December 29, 2009


March 28 at 9:36am
Just found out some sad but old news. My C.O. at Mountain Home, Det. 22 passed away on Dec 22, 2009 at the young age of 59. Col Steve Yestness was a great guy, and a hell of a pilot.
Mike Hurst

March 28 at 9:54am via mobile
Kent Vickery

March 28 at 3:49pm
Wow, he was a great Rescue commander at Det. 22, I found his obit RIP.
Henry Wiswell

March 29 at 10:02am
While at Det. 22, I use to paint cars on the side. Col Yestness found out and asked me if I would shoot his truck if he got it ready. I said yes and forgot all about the request. About a month later while working on a phase inspection, the Col comes walking across the hanger and says come with me Hurst. At this point I am thinking what the hell did I do now! We jump in a car and drive to the hobby shop and in the paint booth sets his old compact pickup truck. It was allready except for masking and a wipe down. At this point I look at all the paint supplies he has to make sure we are not missing anything. The Col. asks if I need anything else and jokingly I say that I normally have a beer or two before a spray a car, just to steady the hand. He asks what kind and drive to the shopette and picks up a six pack. We drink a couple while masking the truck. Now it’s time to spray the paint. I open the can to find a wild looking shade of purple looking back at me. I ask the Col., is this right, he says yes. We shoot the truck and it turns out pretty good. The last time I saw the Col. was in Turkey during DS. That don’t make them like that anymore. RIP Col. Yestness.
Mike Hurst

June 20 at 5:39pm
I worked for him as a SAR controller at Incirlik AB in ’91 during Provide Comfort II. Remember him doing the bat hang from the cross supports on the pavilion near the Quonset hut quarters. He was an interesting guy and I learned a lot from him.
Scott McCartt

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