Yvsa...my great friend and shining light...has walked West.

Nov 29, 2002
O Wow, thats sad,gutted...

He was a great chap, over the last 10 years we fought,laughed & made friends & talked about our lives often, it was interesting to grow a little older in the company of a wise man.

Thank you Yvsa,

Ill going to build a fire & remeber our times right now. Cheers Buddy.



Gold Member
Mar 13, 2006
Sending smoke up from deep within the Boreal forest. Yvsa contibuted allot to this community and will be missed.
May 12, 2004
very sad to read this, his contributions will be missed.My heartfelt condolances to his family.


Gold Member
Jan 13, 2001
Loss and change are a part of life, but that doesn't make it any easier when one of us is called to meet his maker. Go in peace Yvsa.
Jan 1, 2012
Yvsa will be sorely missed...to say the least. He was one of the 1st to help me out on my very 1st khuk purchase....God Be with he an his loved ones


Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder.
Staff member
Super Mod
Feb 27, 2001
My friend will be sorely missed, but remembered.

God bless him and his family. Many of us were blessed to know Yvsa. He leaves this world a better place than it was before he was here.
Nov 26, 1999
I'm so sad to see this.

I just thought that I would randomly check in on you guys and this news is what I see. Like many others I learned more from this guy than I can even remember.

I hope you've found peace old friend.
Jun 10, 2011
Some words of wisdom from the man himself...

As my dear friend Kismet said, "words don't work." And although there are few that can bring real comfort at a time such as this I always found these too be meaningful for me...

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

...My heart is on the ground for you and what you are feeling... :(


Gold Member
Dec 28, 2003

I write these words the night I heard of his passing, June 15, 2012, but it seems appropriate to wait a couple of weeks or so to give folks a chance to post their thoughts and prayers. I wanted to say something more about Yvsa, and post a few pictures of him for those who never had the honor of meeting him personally. Of course if you corresponded with him here, or were fortunate enough to post under his stint as a forum Moderator, you got a glimpse into his generous personality and I’m sure benefited from his knowledge and wisdom.

So here are a few pictures of Yvsa taken at the 2005 Khukuri Khonvention at Mamav's (Virginia's) house in Mesa, AZ:

In the first group pic he is kneeling in the front row holding his beloved and beautifully finished first generation Yvsa Cherokee Special, with Gin to his right holding her specially modified “Avatar” chainpuri. The chainpuri was one that Yvsa had himself customized with African Knobthorn Handle with copper fittings, and he later wrote here that it was one of Uncle Bill’s favorite knives. Gin posed with it as her avatar picture (in curlers as I recall!), and she was a welcome regular here for years. I feel very fortunate to have been able to handle that knife. (I wrote to Gin in Mesa two weeks ago to let her know the news, but have received no response; she is great people and I hope she and her daughter Karen are well. BTW, Gin is the person who along with Yangdu worked tirelessly and selflessly at their own expense to handle the sale of Rusty’s knives after he passed in 2005, in order to benefit Rusty’s widow Mary.)

To Yvsa’s left is Brett Fox (Foxjaw) who came up with the idea of the Foxy Folly, and is holding one of the heavy 49-50 oz. originals that I was fortunate enough to get later from Spiral (Jonathan-Spiraltwista) in England, who as far as I’m concerned is an expert on historical khukuris and also a knowledgeable protégé of the eminent collector John Powell IIRC.

In the rear are Yvsa’s wife Barbara, and great Cantina members DaveK (Dave Kruk from AZ) and Rio Jim, also from Mesa I believe. Nasty (Ray) who was a moderator here (and later on Knife Forums) along with Yvsa and Howard Wallace was also there, but is taking the picture. (Rio Jim had some beautiful aftermarket sheaths from Terry Sisko as I recall, and also had a custom HI-style Kerambit in a kydex quick draw rig made for him by a local knifemaker.)

The second pic is Yvsa again, next to Nasty and Brett. I was in the back row along with Gin, Dave and Jim, but cropped it out so that you wouldn’t confuse me with an escaped weather balloon in my red shirt. ;-) The cool T-shirts Yvsa and Nasty and Barbie are wearing are from the very first Khonvention held in Reno in March 2003, that unfortunately was slightly before my time.

In the third pic Yvsa is holding a truly killer sharp Cherokee Rose I brought to the event that he had hand sharpened for us earlier that day, and had just used to cut a full jug of water in half. The Himalayan Imports Rose was another of his brainchildren, based on his love of the old Scagel knives. I still have that knife untouched, and with the exception of a wonderful handmade hunting knife that Sarge (Greg-Sylvrfalcn) made for one of the Ram raffles organized by Steve Ferguson (that my old friend Joe {Aardvark} kindly gave me), it is the single sharpest knife I own. The edge makes my EDC ZT-302 with CPM S30V steel seem like a butter knife. :)

The last pic is included just to give a better shot of the Rose, in the forefront of the knives we played with that day at Gin’s home. Second from the right is a one of a kind Bura 2-Handed Katana that came to California later and just went back to Arizona a few weeks ago that Yvsa used to good effect that day.

It's impossible to relate how knowledgeable Yvsa was about knives, as well as a great many other things, or how capable he was with tools and machining. He could sharpen a knife freehand and do a better job than someone with a slack belt grinder. He taught us all (along with Walosi and Steve) to do great Tru-Oil finishes, and a dozen other knife maintenance tasks. He was deeply spiritual, and immersed in his Cherokee culture, and loved his wife Barbie deeply. Every time he wrote he would thank God for her existence, love and support. In my opinion he didn’t suffer fools gladly, and yet he was tolerant and, I know for a fact, very forgiving.

At the Khonvention he brought a gorgeous red cedar flute that he had laboriously hand finished with a deep multi-layer superglue finish. He told us he treated it that way so it wouldn’t warp in the sweat lodge ceremonies in which he participated. We all sat around in Gin’s home while he played it for us beautifully. I asked him how he had learned to play it, and he said “go out by yourself in the woods for 3 days with the flute and it will come to you.” Being with Yvsa and those people at that get together was a wonderful experience.

Other than that 2005 Khonvention and our continued regular correspondence since, I know very little about him otherwise, just that he was a good and decent man, with a lot of true wisdom, and will be sorely missed. I'm writing this late Friday and actually into Saturday morning, the night I heard the news, but waited as mentioned above to give people time to respond here. It’s late and still, smoke is up, and a Rusty Sgian Dubh and Osage Orange YCS sit on the desk beside me.

So: I figure by now Yvsa is completely set up somewhere with Uncle Bill who he admired tremendously, their good friend Rusty who Walked West within days of Uncle Bill in 2005, and fellow ndn brother Walosi who left us in 2004, as well as Dick “Sogguy” Singer, Bruce Molin, (and later DannyInJapan {Danny Fletcher}, all kind and generous spirits and friends) and they are having one hell! of a good time talking about the Cantina, the people they love and left behind, and Khukuris of course! His pain is gone, and he feels young and strong again; his only worry for those he left behind who will be joining him someday.

In closing I post something Yvsa wrote December 2008 in a thread started by Ted Wilson commemorating the anniversary of the passing of Walosi (Don Carroll), which seems particularly fitting here:

“With Walosi and I both having Cherokee Blood and Cherokee Pride we became like brothers. I have never stopped missing my brother and friend and never will. We were both really looking forward to the day when we could meet in person but regretfully that day never came but it will someday. :thumbup:

The Cherokee language doesn't have a word meaning, "good bye". Our words are Donadagohvi for one person and Dodadagohvi for two or more persons and means roughly, "Until we see one another again." or, "Until we meet each other again."

So “Donadagohvi” Edutsi! You will be missed.


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May 1, 2012
Learning of Yvsas passing makes me strangely sad although I never knew or spoke with the man. Upon dicovering HI and later bladeforums I've been reading hundreds of old threads and of course he pops up many places with his comments and wisdom. He appeared to me one of the pillars of this remarkable little community and an excellent human being.

People may pass on and disappear from our lives in many ways, but the imprints they leave on us are never gone. Giving other people reason to remember you fondly when you're gone is perhaps the greatest gift you can give and receive. People like Yvsa and Uncle Bill seem to have made a positive imprint on many peoples lives, far outside the limited scope of khukuris and sharp pieces of steel. That alone speaks volumes.

Treasure the good and learn from the bad folks!

Aug 15, 2000
Farewell my friend, I will miss very much your stories and wisdom that you so generously shared.
Sep 22, 2003
Wow I just found this thread!

I'm really sad, loved Yvsa, I never truly understood how to get a khuk really sharp till I talked to him.

Anytime anybody talks about sending up smoke he'll be remembered!

Daniel Koster

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Oct 18, 2001
Wow...I'm floored. I knew his health had been giving him troubles but I didn't think it was his time yet.

He'll be missed.

I was going to stop by in late July...:(

Too many memories to sort through right now...can't even begin to make sense of it...
Jul 2, 2009
Best wishes for friends and family. Just by his posts you could tell Yvsa was no ordinary man, he'll be missed.
Jun 16, 2002
Deepest condolences to Barb and family on Yvsa's passing. It's hard to believe that we lost a long standing veteran of the community. So many memories on this forum from countless years (has it really been that long?).

Can't believe I just decided to randomly log in and saw this. I am thankful however that we can all take a time trip back and look over our joys and drama's through past posts.

Prayers and positive thoughts. Give 'em hell Yvsa!
Jan 27, 2007
I just found this, and I'm greatly saddened by the news. Like Steelyguns, I learned a ton form Yvsa's posts (I still have some bookmarked). It had been a long hard fight for him, and I never would have thought it was his time.

Condolences to Yvsa's family.