Kletke/Durham Genealogy

John Arnold Yoder

Male 1925 - 2011  (86 years)

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  • Name John Arnold Yoder 
    Born 12 Jan 1925  Kansas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Aug 2011  Yoder, Colorado Find all individuals with events at this location 

      John Arnold (JAY) Yoder passed away in his home Monday evening, August 1, 2011. He was born July 12, 1925 to Eli and Ida Plank Yoder at Newton, Kansas. He was the first born of four children.

      The family farmed in the area of Newton Kansas. Jay attended Kansas schools at Zimmerdale, Walton and Hesston Academy. He spent many long days of hard work helping his father with farm work. This included dairy cattle, hogs, chickens, and crops. He also frequently did farm work away from home, such as shearing sheep.

      Jay was asked to work for the International machinery dealer in Turon, Kansas. This job included hauling and assembling machinery. He was later asked to be a traveling sales man for a new young company named Hesston Manufacturing. He worked for Hesston for ten years in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Wyoming. He enjoyed selling equipment, traveling, and meeting people.

      It was in 1948 that his wife to be, Betty Durham went to Turon, Kansas to teach school. Jay and Betty met in Turon and were married in August, 1948. They had two sons, Scott Yoder and Wade Yoder. They had two grandchildren, Josie and Joshua Yoder.

      When Jay was growing up, he read Zane Gray?s book, Riders of the Purple Sage, and he dreamed of being a rancher some day. In 1955 Jay and Betty bought their home in Yoder, Colorado. Jay enjoyed being self employed as a rancher and farmer. He especially enjoyed selling bulls and attending 4-H market steer show activities at the El Paso County Fair. He joyfully worked on his ranch up until his last days.

      Jay served his community in several different capacities. Jay taught adult Sunday school for many years. He and his wife Betty were charter members of Kendrick Bible Church. He was Master of Ramah Masonic Lodge No. 165 in 1976. He gladly served as a committee man of Farmer Home Administration. He served on the board of Edison School when the gymnasium, two classrooms, the foyer, and indoor bathrooms were added. He was also a member of Pikes Peak Cattleman?s Association and Colorado Consistory.

      Jay is survived by his wife Betty Yoder, his son Scott Yoder, his son and daughter in-law, Wade and Cynthia Yoder, his grandchildren, Josie and Joshua Yoder all of Yoder, Colorado. He is also survived by his sister Mary Kathryn Stucky of Moundridge Kansas, his brother Lawrence Yoder and wife Elda of Newton Kansas, his sister in-law, Dolores Yoder of Hesston Kansas, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a brother Dr Vernon Yoder of Hesston, Kansas.

      Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care ? Odyssey Group, the Edison Volunteer Fire Department, or the community church of your choice.


      For Dad

      First, on behalf of the family I would like to thank you for all the support the family has received through the last year and especially this week and thank you for sharing this time with us.

      A lot can happen in 86 years. Dad lived to see the assassination of JFK, the creation of Israel, the cold war, numerous recessions, droughts and 15 Presidents, only two of whom I think he really admired, the first space flight and the last flight of the space shuttle. He lived through the time of greatest innovation the world has seen to date, from the invention of sticky tape , rural electrification programs, the building of the interstate highway system, computers, no TV to satellite TV, party lines to personal cell phones, which he wouldn?t use because it didn?t have a signal on Myers Rd. the list goes on and on ?

      Dad often said he had lived three lives ? I would refer you to your bulletin.

      His first was his childhood ? see the little boy holding the reins to a team of work horses ? that is dad at five years old - The caption on the back ? penned I would guess by his mother reads ? another mistake, HA! Arnold 1930 Zimmerdale, KS. He was the oldest of four, and as oldest kids do, he saw himself as a bit of a care taker of his younger siblings, Lawrence, Mary and Vernon. His childhood included the depression, the dust bowl and World War ll. This was not the easiest time in our history especially for kids - and like so many of his generation, he had to mature fast and work hard from an early age. I never heard him complain of things he lacked as a child but he did appreciate what he had, especially his family. He told us of making pets of baby pigeons and skunks he rescued and picnics with his siblings and getting in trouble for swinging in the hayloft rafters. And yes he literally told us of walking to school, up hill ? but he never mentioned snow.

      His second life was traveling and young married years:
      He had jobs shearing sheep, working on custom combine crews and he hauled farm equipment for Earl Berner and latter was one of the first salesman for Hesston Manufacturing Corp. He told many stories of his travels and friends he had made. This is when the world opened up to a farm kid from Kansas. When the town of Minot ND was recently flooded I remember him calling mom to the TV to look at the hotel he was sure they had stayed in on one of their trips. He also told of getting a combine stuck under a bridge in Denver - he never really liked driving in Denver.

      This second life is when he and Mom got together ?see that wedding photo? They sure smiled and had dark hair in those early pictures. It is a little disconcerting as a child to hear your dad say how pretty your mom is and how proud he is of her, and really mean it. But looking through the family photos in his eyes we see what he meant, she was the center of most of them. Some of you may remember their 40th Anniversary celebration at the Antioch Church ? the funny thing about that was dad had heard a gospel church choir in Colorado Springs and had mentioned that he wanted them to sing at his funeral - Mom?s reply, if I can remember correctly, was why wait until you die? So she arranged for them to perform at the 40th anniversary -I can still hear them sing ?HE restoreth my soul?
      Mom and Dad would have been married 63 years this coming Monday I believe ? I think that speaks for itself.

      His third life is the one most of us here remember; His ranching and family days.

      I only got to hear about the first lives but I shared his third life with him.

      You should know are that he was always appreciative of his neighbors, especially those around when he and mom bought the place, Joe Neeley, L.A. Bush, Weldon Moss, Morris and Mike Kenney, Marvin Hamilton, Jim Tanner, Joe Brown and Fae Paul. And business men like Ralph Book and A.L Pieper. Some of these men were gone before I was born but dad often told us of his appreciation for them. Without their aid, advice and friendship in those early years; I don?t know that he would have made it here.

      Dad cherished family and friends. He was always supportive of his family and used to say to us ?we are all in this together? whether we wanted to be or not ? no matter if it was good or bad we were not alone in our success or failures. He was always there for us ? but he did expect us to always try our best.

      He taught us generosity, by example, sometimes with money but mostly time. One of the best things about Dad was that he had time ? you were always welcome and not an imposition, he never made you feel like he would rather be doing something else than spend time with you. That said ? often if you wanted to spend time with him you got to join in whatever he needed to do ? but you weren?t second choice ? you were along. He would always listen ? And he would give you an answer even if you didn?t want to hear it.

      He taught us his faith, by example, we watched over the years as he literally wore out his bible ? not really noticing because it was just part of him. He never seemed to worry much about things he couldn?t affect but was always willing to help when he could, even if it was just a compliment or word of encouragement.

      Dad liked to see things grow. Crops, grass, cattle, churches, nieces and nephews, businesses, families. I know he wanted to leave the world a better place than he found it ? and at least in what his family learned from him he did.

      Over the last few days I have worried about how I would remember dad. Then I looked at my hands, saw some scars, and realized my favorite accidents were with him. They usually involved a cow or a motor and when we put cows and motors together ? boy could you get material for a good story. He was one of the first people to use an ATV with cattle. You know the 3 wheelers that are now outlawed ? Scott and I and some other family members can explain why they were outlawed.

      Though the world around him changed a lot ? from my perspective dad didn?t change much. Yes he got older, the body got slower and he tired faster. I loved it when I walked in one day and he and mom where in a bit of an argument and all I heard was his reply ?? I?m not deaf Betty - I just can?t hear? and they both chuckled. Not all aging was without a fight. The hair grayed but stayed, and always in a crew cut. But the smile was the same, the strong hands; he still liked chocolate malts and mom?s bread, his dog, and the cows.

      One notable change was when the Grand kids showed up ? I asked my kids what they enjoyed about grandpa and they both said ? ?he liked to have fun - like eat ice cream and watch cartoons in the morning? I can assure you that was a change.

      They also said he was determined. This threw me a little. It wasn?t on my list, of my friends most notable attributes. But the more I thought about it, I realized a lot of what he accomplished was by shear will, effort, hard work faith in God and help from family and friends; and that ?determined? may be one of the best descriptions of him.

      These character traits I think he developed at young age and I am glad that his grandkids saw them lived out in him.
      He loved his family, friends, neighbors and community. He tried to give more than he took ? as most from his generation do.

      I don?t think Dad left with regrets, he wasn?t perfect but he did his best.

      Any sorrow we have today is not for his loss of life, but our loss of him.

      He always told us not to cry when he was gone ? but this time I get the last word.

      Betty, Scott, Josie, Josh, Cynthia and Wade 8-5-11
    Person ID I0190  Kletke-Durham
    Last Modified 9 Sep 2011 

    Family Betty Jean Durham 
     1. Scott Jay Yoder
     2. Wade Alan Yoder
    Last Modified 3 Aug 2011 
    Family ID F075  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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    John Arnold Yoder
    John Arnold Yoder
    Uncle Jay