Farming Rural 10

Raymond D. Yoder

April 7, 1938 ~ February 13, 2022 (age 83)

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Raymond D. Yoder, age 83, of LaGrange, IN passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at Parkview LaGrange Hospital in LaGrange, IN.  Mr. Yoder was born on April 7, 1938 in Mio, MI to Gideon and Lula (Robison) Yoder.  On March 15, 1957, he married his wife of 64 years, Thelma Jean Tharp in Cass County, MI.  Beginning his professional work life at the early age of 14, Ray wore many hats and maintained many skillful occupations.  At 14, he worked on a farm in Cassopolis, MI where he operated tractors and other heavy machine equipment.  He then was employed as a mechanic for Dusty Rhode’s Garage in Cassopolis, MI.  Raymond served his community honorably as a Police Officer in Cass County, MI also while maintaining two other jobs where he worked for an ambulance service and worked at a feed mill.  Next, he became employed with the Department of Natural Resources in Cass County but then was transferred to the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Once he and his family transferred, he owned and operated a dairy farm called R. Yoder Farms in the upper peninsula.  Ray was also quite the entrepreneur and founded Ray’s Sales and Service which was a small engine repair shop.  Raymond had a passion for driving and became employed by Patz Farm Equipment in Pound, WI as a truck driver.  He was head of the maintenance division at Federal Press and lead service technician for Shaum Electric both in Elkhart, IN.  After years of success with his small engine repair shop, Ray took his skills to the next level and became a repairman on generators for NASCAR.  Ray not only had an astounding work ethic, but he also was well organized which allowed him to be successful as the Culpepper Merriwether Circus Scheduler, running a Christmas tree lot, and mechanic for Lake Lungren Bible Camp.  Ray’s passion of driving led him to hauling and delivery of RV’s and a Taxi service for passengers.  Raymond was a jack-of-all-trades and had a discipline, work ethic, and drive next to none.  He was a member of the LaGrange Baptist Church in LaGrange, IN and always put forth effort in making sure he made it to church services.  Ray had a sweet tooth and loved vanilla ice cream, strawberry milkshakes, and his Wife’s homemade apple pie.  He had a heart of gold and always cared for others and where they would go after they passed on from this life.  

Survivors include:
Wife, Thelma Jean Yoder of LaGrange, IN.
Daughter, Connie and Ron Mobley or LaGrange, IN.
Son, Michael and Julie Yoder of Crivitz, WI.
Daughter, Karen and Kirk Easterday of Sturgis, MI.
Daughter, Brenda O’Neil of LaGrange, IN.
Son, Doug and Jennifer Yoder of Elkhart, IN.  
21 Grandchildren.
27 Great-grandchildren.
Sister, Florence Weatherly of Woodstock, GA.
Sister, Ruth Spangler of Niles, MI.

Raymond was preceded in death by his parents, daughter at birth, Penny Lynn Yoder, Son-in-law, Brian O’Neil, Siblings; Beatrice Hodges, Helen Hodges, Leonard Yoder, David Yoder, Marie Hunsberger, Lilly Kirkwood, and Catherine Smith.  

There will be a celebration of life held Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 4:00pm with calling after until 6:00pm at LaGrange Baptist Church, 1370 IN-9, LaGrange, IN 46761.

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Arrangements and care trusted to Hess Funeral Home and Cremation Services of LaGrange, IN.  

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