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June 12. 2014 9:33PM

Merrimack mourns council chairman's death


David Yakuboff Sr., center, is surrounded by his extended family when he was recently named chairman of the Merrimack Town Council. (Courtesy)

MERRIMACK — A respected and hardworking public servant and businessman passed away this week, leaving the Merrimack community in mourning and shock.

David Yakuboff Sr., 59, chairman of the Merrimack Town Council, died on Wednesday following a lengthy illness. The news has devastated those who knew him best and worked with him at Town Hall.

“This is such a sad day for Merrimack. This town has lost a dedicated town councilor, a respected business owner and a quality husband, father and grandfather,” said Councilor Bill Boyd.

Yakuboff was an approachable and likable town official who gave so much to the community, according to Boyd, who described his colleague as a friend and mentor.

“He cared about Merrimack, and he thoroughly enjoyed serving on the council and working with the residents and town employees,” Boyd said of Yakuboff.

Yakuboff was a member of the town’s charter commission before he became a town councilor in 2008. Although he took one year off in 2012 to focus on his health, Yakuboff returned to the council in 2013 when he was reelected to a three-year term that ends in 2016. He was selected as chairman in April.

Town Manager Eileen Cabanel said the town staff took a few moments on Wednesday morning to reflect on Yakuboff’s contributions to the town, and his dedication to making Merrimack a better community.

“He was always there to help, but he never bragged about it or brought attention to himself,” said Cabanel, adding she was shocked to learn of Yakuboff’s passing after seeing him in good spirits the day before. “He was a remarkable man, a generous man, and he loved his family very deeply.”

Yakuboff, a veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, was instrumental in reinvigorating Fraser Square, spearheaded the Merrimack Rocks celebration and took on an anti-bullying initiative to provide an online outlet for youth victims of bullying. Most recently, he tried to bring awareness to local residents about the need for a new highway garage.

Yakuboff was also vocal in trying to provide toll relief to local residents.

“I regret that he won’t be able to see Exit 12 come down,” said Boyd, referring to state legislation that will soon remove one of three exits in Merrimack. “Dave recognized that there were a lot of people contributing to the success of Merrimack, and he contributed to it in his own way. I could never wear his size shoes, but I feel I have an obligation to him.”

In 2010, Yakuboff opened a new showroom at his local business, All Basics Chimney and Stove Shop at 236 Daniel Webster Highway. Yakuboff and his brother, Paul Yakuboff, have owned and operated the business for more than 25 years.

Boyd said that Dave Yakuboff was extremely in tune with the needs of his customers and the needs of his constituents.

“He just enjoyed being around people,” said Boyd.

Cabanel asked that flags at town buildings be flown at half-staff in honor and memory of Yakuboff, and she invited local businesses and residents to do the same.

“This is a great loss for his family and for our community. Dave is a proud example of service and accomplishment,” said a statement from Cabanel’s office.

Thursday’s town council meeting was cancelled due to Yakuboff’s passing.

khoughton@newstote.com


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