MINGO JUNCTION, Ohio (WTRF) – Nestled along Route 7, an American flag flies below a sign bearing the name Yvonne Marie Fair. 

A simple memorial, to a remarkable life. 

That’s what her main thing in life was, to help other people.

Harry Fair, Yvonne’s Father

Donna and Harry Fair said their daughter was outgoing and would try anything once, but lived her life to help others. 

She grew up on a farm, graduated from Buckeye Local High School, once raced professional motocross was involved with the local farm bureau and always wanted to be a firefighter. Yvonne also worked as an EMT paramedic with Toronto, Neffs, Brilliant and New Alexandria Volunteer Fire Departments.

Her parents say she knew she always wanted to serve other people.

When we came back from Tony graduating basic, she says ‘guess what? I quit school and joined the Air Force’.

Donna Fair, Yvonne’s Mother

Yvonne followed her older brother’s lead an enlisted in the Air Force, hoping to be a firefighter. 

She completed basic training in San Antonio, Texas before going to fire training in North Dakota.

Went into the fire part of the training, and she broke her hip, twice. Once she broke it she couldn’t keep going with the fire department, so she had to change her field.

Harry Fair, Yvonne’s Father

Undeterred by her injury, she studied biochemical engineering, a job Yvonne’s parents say she loved. She was stationed in Grand Forks, North Dakota as a Staff Sergeant when she was diagnosed with cancer.

She was putting on her uniform one day and she noticed a little nodule on her neck and she went and had that checked out and they said it was internal melanoma.

Donna Fair, Yvonne’s Mother

After three years, Yvonne had to retire from the Air Force and came home for treatments in Pittsburgh.

Even in the middle of chemo, she was still putting other people first. 

She went on the ambulance to run, and the girl wasn’t much older than Yvonne. Yvonne was administering help to her and she had cancer and of course she had to go to the hospital. And the lady told her ‘I don’t know what’s going to become of me I have cancer’. Yvonne takes her hat off and goes ‘look so do I!’. That’s just how she was.

Donna Fair, Yvonne’s Mother

Donna tells that story with a life and a smile, recalling her daughter’s outgoing personality.

Harry said if there was someone that needed help, Yvonne would be there. She never said no to any community activities and she loved to make people laugh.

She would ride in the back of the ambulance with certain drivers and wear a crash helmet to make them laugh!

Harry Fair, Yvonne’s Father

Yvonne worked until the cancer became too powerful. 

She got to the place where she was driving the ambulance and she was forgetting where she was going and she was afraid she was going to hurt the person in the ambulance worse than what she was, and she decided to retire from doing it. Within two months she passed away.

Harry Fair, Yvonne’s Father

She passed away in 2015 surrounded by the people she loved. 

I give her the dickens every night that I work out of New Alec, because I drive up by her stone, and give her the dickens because she left me.

Harry Fair, Yvonne’s Father

While her loss still weights heavy on her family, they celebrate the way she lived. 

The Fairs want people who pass by Route 7 to know the life behind the name on the sign.

Don’t ‘let anything stop you. If there’s something you want to do in your lifetime ,go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back.

Donna Fair, Yvonne’s Mother