Mark Christian Yerger, age 61, died on September 6, 2016. A Lancaster County native, he was a historian and traveled in both the US and Europe. A recognized authority on the Verfugungstruppe and Waffen-SS, he was the author of more than 20 books specializing in biographical research. Among his books were the first authorized biography of a Waffen-SS Ritterkreuztrager and the nine volume definitive study of SS and Polizei German Cross recipients.
Traveling to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic multiple times in the course of his historical endeavors, he was the only American awarded the HIAG Ehrennadel in Gold for research with several of his books being published in other languages. His massive 900 pages of “Totenkopf” study was released this year while his final book will be published in 2017.
A lifelong music enthusiast, he only ever liked Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with anything else being considered just noise. He preferred a close seat at the more than 200 concerts he attended to a week vacation, being well known by his friends for having insanely loud car and home stereo systems. His other interests were collecting art by Frank Wooton and Robert Taylor as well as studying aeronautical development of the 1930s and 1940s with a personal library on the subject totalling some 2,000 volumes.
A devoted pet owner and supporter of animal rights, he adopted fully grown abandoned animals from the Lancaster Humane League who then lived like royalty. His last pet, Dave, was named after the lead guitarist of Megadeth. He loved the pool in the summer months and enjoyed decorating his residence that intensely reflected his diverse interests and taste. He lived life his own way; focused, functionally idealistic, determined and did what it takes to live a uniquely uncommon life.
He was the son of the late Richard E. Yerger and Katheryn Woelper Yerger.
He is survived by his Aunt Nadine Hanna and by his sister Leslie Fiorenza who he adored and recently took for a ride in a B-17 “Flying Fortress.”
Memorial contributions can be made to the Cat Building at Lancaster Humane League, 2195 Lincoln Hwy East, Lancaster, PA 17601
I met Mark when I lived in Lancaster, PA. He was a soft spoken gentle soul, even with his rock and roll persona. (I say this with love. ). I enjoyed getting to know such a gentleman when I typed his manuscript for the book entitled Otto Kumm. I am saddened to hear if his passing. Rest in love Mark. Charlene
I am so sad and sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. I only found this out today. I helped him with his banking issues when I worked for Susquehanna Bank now known as BB&T and grew fond of his his heart of gold. He was a brilliant man and under estimated for his intelligence. I’m sure you are in your favorite swimming hole in heaven.
You have left your “Mark” on my heart. You will be missed, but nice to know you are no longer in pain. RIP MARK!
I’m very sorry for your loss of a brilliant man. I knew Mark in the early 1980’s and have one of his books he gave us. Unique and intense with a great love of animals.
As a collector of Mr. Yerger’s works, I can only say, as a Boston University trained German historian with a minor in German language, that his books were very well received by me and my colleagues who study the periods, historical figures and the military awards which Mark so vividly brought to life.
I am saddened to see this burgeoning talent taken so young.
Coming late to this page, kindly allow me to pass my sincere condolences to Mr. Yerger’s aunt and sister.
I’m very sorry for your loss….I knew Mark many years ago..when he lived by F&M…He was such a kind soul, it was a pleasure to have known him. I remember well his many trips to the library to research…and of course his love of good metal music…When I knew him..I don’t think he had published a book yet…how amazing the renowned author he became! You should be so proud…Again…I’m so sorry for your loss…PS Mark is dancing above knowing that Megadeth just won a Grammy!
Ciao Mark. Sei stato un grande maestro.
Just found out about the passing of Mark. While I did not know him personally, I knew him through his historical works with members of the Waffen SS and the wonderful historical books he wrote. I have several of his books in my library and all are superb work of history of the men he befriended and was endeared to. Deepest regrets and condolences for Mark and his family.
Deeply saddened to hear of Marks passing. Thank you for your outstanding dedication to history and a volume of work that will stand the testament of time.
I knew Mark solely through corresponding by email but his honesty and passion for the subject made a deep impression on me. For his dedication and devotion to chronicling the military careers of veterans who often failed to receive due recognition within their own society, he deserves our utmost respect.
I send sincere condolences to Mark’s family and close friends.
Leslie, we are so very sorry for your loss. I enjoyed reading Mark’s obituary, he certainly led a very interesting life with many accomplishments. You must be very proud of him. He was lucky to have you as his sister.
A true gentleman who will be missed. RIP Mark!
I knew Mark for many years, and had long phone conversations with him about books. My condolences to the family, and may he rest in peace with his animals
Mark was a dear friend, close confidant, brilliant scholar and consummate historical researcher. I will dearly miss my friend. Sincerest and most heartfelt sympathy to Leslie and the extended family. Mark will live long in the hearts and minds of so many for whom he was the “guru.” Our hobby community mourns deeply his passing. With our love, Jack and Pat
Dear Leslie and Family,
I was very sad to hear about Mark passing. We worked together at Johnson and Johnson * Merck. He was always telling jokes and making me laugh. He would also have stories about his “kids” (cats), he certainly loved them. I pray they are all together again now in heaven.
With my deepest sympathy,
I am sorry for your loss, a path taken ahead of time, I think, but one we all must follow some time in the future
my deepest condolences to his family and Ignacio
Heidi and I are expressing our deepest condolences to the family of Mark Yerger. Mark and I had some great discussions and exchanges of information in regard to his books on the Waffen SS and Ritterkreuzträger.
His work was always factual, based on his very thorough research on the subjects. He has left a good legacy.
Our thoughts and prayers are also with Leslie.
My deepest condolences to Mark’s family and friends. I worked with Mark for a few years and always enjoyed talking with him. He had a unique perspective on life and it’s clear that he had an impact on many people. Rest in peace Mark.
I never personally met Mark but we corresponded for many years and he was my friend. We had much in common and I respected the man immensely. He will be very much missed by so many people. Such a good man who was in so much pain has left our world but will never be forgotten. My sincere condolences to Leslie and his family and friends. Rest in Peace dear Mark.
I regret that I never even got to talk to him, only exchanged emails. Mark was always willing to help. I’m sorry that he has finally succumbed. My sincere condolences to the family.
With sincere sympathy to Leslie and family, his friend and collegue Ignacio and his beloved cat Dave. I only knew Mark briefly in his last six months but he has inspired me and helped me like no other. His mind and work rate were phenomenal, especially for someone who lived in so much pain. Mark it was a privilege to have been admitted into your world … May you continue to grow and learn in the company now of those you loved and lost xx thank you .
I am saddened by the passing of Mark. He left this world way too soon. He enjoyed so much of life and yet missed far more than he ever realized. He will be missed by Leslie and his fans, but especially by his dear Aunt Nadine.